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07.02.2010, 21:32◄ last page     

Norwegian champion had to give all to win at HC Leipzig.

Tough fight for Larvik

After Györ, Valcea and Viborg had won their opening matches in the Main Round of Women’s Champions League on Saturday, Larvik HK celebrated a good start in the competition. On Sunday the Norwegian champion won 23:20 (11:10) at tough fighting HC Leipzig. Györ and Larvik lead group I after match day 1.

Group I:

HC Leipzig – Larvik HK 20:23 (10:11)

The last team Leipzig had met in the group phase of this CL season was from Norway – and the Germans beat them to reach the Main Round. But despite Byasen in January, the champion Larvik HK was too strong in the first Main Round match ever for HCL. But the Norwegians had to shiver until the very last minute, until the opening victory was safe and well. Leipzig fought hard, but a weak period of ten minutes without a goal right after the break pre decided the match. Even as Leipzig could keep up with Larvik in the final stage, they couldn’t turn the match completely. “Those ten minutes were the decisive factor”, HCL coach Heine Jensen said: “We struggled to equalize in the very end, but we couldn’t afford it, the deficit was too big. Our defense was on highest level, including goalkeeper Katja Schülke, but we have to improve in attack.” 2700 spectators attended the game in Dessau – HCL had to leave their usual arena due to a track and field meeting. The high speed game was on eye level, with slight advantages for Larvik. The first half was completely equal, but right after the break Leipzig missed too many chances, the Norwegians extended their lead to 14:11. Then the host woke up, reduced the gap and equalized at the score of 17:17. But thanks to the saves of goalkeeper Lene Rantala and the nine goals of Linn Sulland, Larvik won the Main Round opener. “If you want to beat a team like Larvik, you have to give 100 percent for 60 minutes”, HCL manager Kay-Sven Hähner said: “But we improved a lot in comparison to last season, when we lost with a much clearer result at home.”

TEXT: Björn Pazen

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