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20.02.2010, 11:20◄ last page     


Larvik’s third consecutive Main Round victory over powerless Krim Mercator takes them close to the semi final spot.
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A lesson in Ljubljana

This night Krim Mercator appeared without strength at home ground. The game’s biggest star was 42 year old Larvik goalkeeper Lene Rantala, who managed to save 17 of Krim’s shots. With her good performance, Larvik was in the lead almost all the time.

Krim’s defence was far from what Europe had seen in this season. Sulland, Mork, Breivang and Johansen were unstoppable, and the Norwegians took a comfortable 12:8 lead after 17 minutes.

Between the posts on the side of the Slovenes Sergeja Stefanišin – Croatian goalkeeper Jelena Grubišić was in hospital with allergy problems – couldn’t save many balls. As her opponent Rantala even saved two penalty meter shots from Lekić and Zrnec, Larvik held a six goals difference after the first 30 minutes.

Not having enough yet, Larvik's even increased their tempo in second half. Within seven minutes the lead was as much as 9 goals, because Heidi Løke found many "holes" along Krim’s six meter line.

Still Krim did not give up. The Slovenian champions successfully changed their defensive formation to a 5-1 which Larvik did not like at all. While they had some problems in attack Krim’s Bodnieva, Zacsik and Lekić helped their team to get back into the game.

With only five minutes left in the match the home team had reduced to a gap of only three goals (27:30). But keeper Rantala with a strong performance did not allow more, securing Larvik’s sixth point.

After having defeated all three opponents in Group I they are in a superb position to make this year’s semi finals.

"We played very good in attack in first half, but after Krim’s defence became very aggressive we had some problems. Still I am very happy over our first victory in Ljubljana," Larvik coach Karl Erik Bøhn said and added: "It is very difficult to win here, so that makes me even happier."


TEXT: Maja Mastnak

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