Storhamar claim play-off spot with their fourth win
Storhamar Handball Elite achieved their desire goal of securing a spot in the EHF Champions League Women 2022/23 play-offs after winning 31:22 against HC Lokomotiva Zagreb on Saturday afternoon in Croatia.
Storhamar led throughout the match, even though Lokomotiva kept the contest close on three occasions, and the Norwegian side sealed a comfortable win. With eight points in group B, Storhamar have eliminated Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK from the competition.
HC Lokomotiva Zagreb (CRO) vs Storhamar Handball Elite (NOR) 22:31 (12:17)
- Storhamar had a good start with a 3:0 run leaving Lokomotiva without a goal scored until the third minute of the match
- Lokomotiva's goalkeeper Lena Ivancok's good performance between the posts allowed her team to narrow the gap midway through the first half (7:8)
- as the Norwegian side improved their attack, they found a way to trick Lokomotiva's 6-0 defence and rebound to take a four-goal lead. Eli Marie Raasok, who had a 61 per cent save efficiency at half-time, made a series of saves shortly before the break
- the home team could not find a solution for Anniken Obaidli – the centre back had an 11-goal outing and brought the first seven-goal lead in the game (25:18) after scoring four times in the first 15 minutes of the second half
- almost half of Lokomotiva's goals in the second-half were scored from the seven-metre line, courtesy of the impeccable Ana Malec
Dream season for the debutants
Storhamar are one of two debutants in the EHF Champions League Women 2022/23 season, and they are living up to the dream. After playing in the Europe's second-tier competition for four consecutive seasons and reaching the quarter-finals on two occasions, they have showed good fighting spirit in Europe's top flight.
By defeating Lokomotiva, Kenneth Gabrielsen's team claimed their fourth win of the season and secured sixth position in group B, leading them to the play-offs where they will face the third-placed team of group A. Therefore, Anniken Obaidli, who has now scored 77 goals this season, will stay in the race to finish as the competition's top scorer.
Credit for the photos in this article: Ivan Santro
We've managed to win two new points and that's what matters the most. I feel like we are ready for the play-offs. Other than that, we've had a lot of ups and downs today, and that is surely something we'll have to focus on in the future but, once again, winning is all that matters.
I feel like we've opened the game well on the attacking side of the court but we were struggling in defence. Later on, when we switched for 6-0, the defence was looking better with today's incredible Lena Ivancok between the posts. Honestly, I feel like some missed shots and turnovers proved to be costly for us today.