Odense win but stay fifth
Odense Håndbold ended the DELO EHF Champions League group phase with a 37:29 home win against Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK. However, the Danish team stayed in fifth place and were unable to leapfrog CSKA, who defeated Metz Handball.
Odense Håndbold (DEN) vs Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK (TUR) 37:29 (18:13)
- Althea Reinhardt's multiple saves lifted Odense to a commanding 11:3 lead midway through the first half
- Kastamonu then improved their attack efficiency to close the gap to five goals at the interval
- the home team opened the second half with a 5:1 run, and their lead soon reached double digits at 25:15. And although Kastamonu again hit back and reduced the gap to 29:25, the home team held their nerve
- Maren Aardahl stood out with her eight goals for Odense, while Jovanka Radicevic scored six times for Kastamonu
- Odense ended the group phase with 15 points, one shy of CSKA. The Danish team will meet Brest Bretagne Handball in the play-offs
Good lesson for Kastamonu
The Turkish champions had set ambitious goals before the start of their debut DELO EHF Champions League season, yet it was hard for them at this level. In some matches, Kastamonu were close to earning points, but in the end they suffered defeats in all 14 encounters.
A few weeks ago, they changed the head coach, as Costica Buceschi was replaced by Hakan Gunal, but it did not help much. Still, this campaign has been a good lesson for Kastamonu, who will try to do better next time.
We got what we wanted - got two points and won the match. We had the possibility to play with many players and share the minutes. In many ways, it was good for us because we have a busy week in front of us.
We knew that this match would be hard for us. I am proud of my players because they never gave up. They tried their best, but we made too many mistakes.