Nothing has changed after the fifth round in Group 1, Vardar, Thuringer and Midtjylland still have chances to grab the last two spots in the Final Four tournament. Within two points, all three teams will go in the last match with great optimism and motivation. Although Midtjylland and Vardar are in slight lead because of the home court advantage.
08.03.2014 15:00, MAIN ROUND / GROUP 1 Nordhausen (GER), 2200 SPECTATORS
Thüringer HC 24 : 24 WHC Vardar SCBT (12:15)
It was a “to be or not to be” match for the Macedonian champion, coach Indira Kastratovic did not want to risk anything so she started with her best outfielders: Lekic, and Nikolic, a great defender Klikovac and Radicevic and Dembele on the wings. But Thuringer was not afraid! They took the favorite role (table wise) and stick to it, even though they lost with six goals in Skopje.
Luzumova, Nadgornaja, Barbosa, Frey and Snelder were ready for the fight, but their desire was bigger then their capabilities and with few saved shots, and many missed unforced attempts Thuringer was lagging by 6 goals in the middle of the first half. Everything looked great for Vardar until Pineau and Khmyrova substituted Nikolic and Klikovac. Few lost balls, few unorganized attacks were just an overture for what was to come. By the half time break, the hosts were just 3 goals behind Vardar, 12:15.
The second half, started as the first ended, Vardar could not find their rhythm and Thuringer used their confusion to equalize to 15:15 just 3 minutes into the game. From that moment on, the game turned to mind and nerve war between Nadgornaja and Mietzner from the one side and Lekic from the other. In the end both teams had the chance to win, but a tie was the realistic description for this match.
After this match Thuringer and Vardar are one step closer to the Final Four, and both team will decide their own faith in the last round on home court.
Indira Kastratovic (WHC Vardar) :
The point is wonderful, after the defeat last week in Denmark. The mood in the hall was great. Next week we will give everything against Sävehof to make the entry into the Final Four perfect.
Herbert Müller (THC):
Isn’t Champions League something fantastic? I do not know if I have a crying or laughing eye. A laughing because my team has caught seven goals against this great opponent, and a crying, because it was ultimately a lost point. In the end we leave again great chances [for the Final four]. Finally, a great compliment to my team and the audience.
Thüringer HC: Jana Krause, Maike März; Nadja Nadgornaja (7), Sonja Frey (1), Martine Smeets, Danick Snelder (1), Iveta Luzumova (2), Kartin Engel, Anja Althaus (1), Marieke Blase, Franziska Mietzner (4), Svenja Huber (4), Alexandrina Cabral Barbosa (4).
WHC Vardar SCBT: Amandine Leynaud, Inna Suslina; Ekatarina Kostiukova, Jovanka Radicevic (4), Allison Marie Pineau (2), Marija Shteriova, Julija Nikolic (3), Siraba Dembele (1), Begona Fernandez Molinos (2), Maja Zebic, Andrea Klikovac (1), Tatiana Khmyrova, Andrea Lekic (10), Marija Lojpur (1), Marina Dmitrovic
Referee: Zigmars Stolarovs / Renars Licis (LAT)
EHF delegate: Josip Posavec (CRO)
|1. Thüringer HC||5||3||1||1||137||:||130||(7)||7|
|2. WHC Vardar SCBT||5||2||2||1||130||:||124||(6)||6|
|3. FC Midtjylland||5||2||1||2||126||:||127||(-1)||5|
|4. IK Sävehof||5||0||2||3||131||:||143||(-12)||2|
08.03.2014 18:15, MAIN ROUND / GROUP 2, Larvik (NOR), 1748 SPECTATORS
Larvik 28 : 22 RK Krim Mercator (14:12)
Greatly weakened, Krim Merkator due to the financial crisis, in the return match played with the Norwegian champion, still hoped for a spot in the last four. In the end, Slovenians had to congratulate Larvik on their victory and a great fight to the last atom of strength.
In the return match, in Larvik, the guests had a good start, and from the very beginning have taken the initiative on the court. With a short bench in 11th minute Penezić hit the lead for Krim 1:3. But by the end of the first half the home team with a swift counterattack came to lead(14:12).
Even after the break Norwegians’ lead did not descend from their hands, coach Tiselj tried with a change on the goal, instead of Stefanisin entered Grubišič. In the middle of the second half, Krim began to run out of power, and Norwegians could impose their pace of play, affecting mainly from counter-attacks. Krim by the end of meetings failed to turn the game and lost their chances of placing in the Final Four.
|1. Györi Audi ETO KC||4||3||1||0||103||:||92||(11)||7|
|4. RK Krim Mercator||5||1||0||4||107||:||127||(-20)||2|