Dominant Vipers power to trophy match
Following a thrilling semi-final to get the DELO EHF FINAL4 2021 underway on Saturday, Vipers Kristiansand earned a confident win, 33:30, against CSKA to reach their first ever DELO EHF Champions League final.
In what is their second DELO EHF FINAL4 participation, Vipers have now achieved their best result ever in the top-flight competition, after clinching third on their first venture in Budapest two years ago.
While Vipers will meet Brest Bretagne in the title-deciding match on Sunday at 18:00 CEST, CSKA will play for third versus Györ at 15:15 CEST.
Vipers Kristiansand (NOR) vs CSKA (RUS) 33:30 (18:12)
- Vipers were in control from the 19th minute on and their win was hardly in doubt from that point, despite a brief CSKA comeback in the second period. When Henny Reistad struck for 32:27 in the 58th minute, the outcome was decided
- the lead changed hands three times in the first period, finally settling with Vipers, who created a decisive difference for half-time and left CSKA to fight for a comeback
- the All-star Team best young player Reistad had a big game for Vipers, leading with six goals in the first half and 10 overall. Fellow backs Marta Tomac and Emilie Arntzen were also in top form for the Norwegian side and played a key role in the win
- after Vipers pulled away to a clear lead late in the first half, CSKA coach replaced Anna Sedoykina with Chana Masson in goal and it initially seemed Masson might help the Russian side come back as she saved two shots early. But Vipers re-found their rhythm after the brief disruption
- CSKA managed a solid comeback in the second half, with a goal from Polina Gorshkova taking them as close as three goals at 24:21 in the 46th minute — but Vipers reopened a clearer difference and led 26:22 as the final 10 minutes began
Best young player with a bright future — and present
22-year-old Norwegian centre back Henny Reistad, who was named in the DELO EHF Champions League 2020/21 All-star Team as best young player, showed what a big future she has ahead with her powerful performance in the semi-final. After putting their first goal on the board, Reistad went on to become top scorer of the match and play the standout role in the second semi-final.
Earlier on Saturday, the experienced stars for Györ and Brest had trouble with nerves that led to uncharacteristic errors from both. As she did in the quarter-finals against Odense, when key stars such as Nora Mørk and Heidi Løke were absent, Reistad stepped up to be the leader in the high-pressure match and delivered in every way.
Will the rising star take her first DELO EHF Champions League trophy on Sunday?
We need extra power in the future, and need a more warlike attitude to bring us to the level we are really capable of