Esbjerg and Vipers share the spoils
Despite missing key players and coming after two painful home losses against CSM Bucuresti and FTC Rail-Cargo Hungaria, Team Esbjerg are back on track.
The Danish side tamed the flawless Vipers Kristiansand and earned a point after a hard-fought game, 27:27.
Team Esbjerg (DEN) vs Vipers Kristiansand (NOR) 27:27 (12:12)
- experienced Norwegian goalkeeper Katrine Lunde had a superb first half for Vipers, saving seven shots for a 38,8 per cent efficiency
- with only nine court players on the sheet, Esbjerg looked set to collapse in the second half, only to produce a 6:1 run between the 39th and the 46th minute to jump to a 23:20 lead
- the game produced six lead changes, with the two sides trading blows back and forth until Esbjerg’s centre back Sonja Frey hit the post with the final shot with three seconds left
- Esbjerg relied heavily on their back line, which scored 21 of the team’s 27 goals against Vipers, for an outstanding 77,7 per cent
- Vipers tied Rostov with seven points at the top of the group, while Esbjerg jumped to fifth place with three points
Esbjerg conquer their woes
Despite missing key players, like Estavana Polman, Esbjerg was a tough nut to crack. The Danish side lost in the last second of the game against CSM, 30:29, two rounds ago, and still found the resources to get a draw against Vipers, 27:27, as the Norwegian side canceled a three-goal deficit with ten minutes to go. With this kind of grit, Esbjerg will always be a difficult opponent.
I am more satisfied today than with the game against FTC and their back-up squad, because against Vipers we showed toughness and determination. The game could easily have gone both ways. Vipers is an extremely talented team, so I am proud of the one point today.