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06.03.2010, 22:56◄ last page     

For Romanians a draw in Volgograd is enough, as Viborg lose at Hypo. Györ win direct encounter against Larvik. Read the Saturday’s summary of match day four.

Valcea in the semis

The first team of this season’s CL semifinals is known: Oltchim Valcea. Thanks to a draw in Volgograd the Romanians qualified for the next stage. In the Valcea group Hypo won their first Main Round match - 35:31 against Viborg and still have little hopes for the semis. In the top match of group I Györ beat Larvik and won the direct encounter, too.

Group I:

Györi Audi ETO – Larvik HK 28:23 (14:11)

Györ took the lead in group I by beating Larvik clearly. For the Norwegians it was the first defeat in the Main Round, but due to the clearer result Györ now have won the direct encounter after the 29:27 victory for Larvik in the first match. Both teams now have six points on the account – and still have best chances to reach the semifinal.

Györ missed the start, as Larvik was in lead 5:2 and 8:5, but thanks to some changes in the defense the Hungarians caught up very quickly.As Larvik only scored two goals in the next 12 minutes, Györ took the lead and extended it to 14:11 – even as Larvik’s goalkeeper Lene Rantala showed some great saves. On the other hand, Katalin Palinger secured the Györ lead after the break and was one of the key factors of the intermediate result of 23:18. Afterwards Larvik was too hectic in attack – and Györ took the advantage from those missed chances. In only three minutes the host extended the lead to decisive 27:18 – and in the end Larvik could only come closer a little bit. Top scorers were Spiridon and Amorin (Györ/each 5) and Sulland (Larvik/7). Depending on Sunday’s result of the match Leipzig – Krim, maybe one single point is enough for both to reach the semifinal.

Group II:

Dinamo Volgograd – Oltchim Valcea 32:32 (15:15)

Valcea’s in the semis: Despite eleven goals of outstanding Dinamo player Anna Kochetova (in total 71 now), the still unbeaten Romanians won the point they needed to secure their place in the knock-out stage after only four match days with now 7 points. Even as Dinamo now have three points on their account, they can’t endanger Valcea, as the Russians lost the direct encounter after the 30:24 in the first match. For the club from the Karpat mountains it’s the second consecutive time to be among the four best CL teams. But Valcea was lucky in their last attack, as they equalized the Dinamo lead. Valcea club President John Gavrilescuenjoyed the result: „It was a typical Champions League match with ups and downs, but we reached the semifinals by taking our last chance. Now we can travel to the match in Viborg without pressure and fear.“ After the Viborg defeat (see below) Valcea only need one more victory to secure the first position. The game was mostly equal. Valcea was in lead with a two goal difference in minute 44 (24:22), but Dinamo fought back and led five minutes before the end 31:29. Valcea’s top scorers were Vizitiu (7) and Puscasu (6).

Hypo Niederösterreich – Viborg HK 35:31 (15:13)

The race for the second place is totally open again after the second consecutive defeat of Viborg and the first victory of Hypo. Even the Austrians still have the chance to qualify for the semi with now two points, even as Viborg (4) and Volgograd (3) are ahead of them. Top scorers for Hypo were Piedade and new team captain Nascimento with each nine goals. Viborg started better and led 4:0, but then Hypo improved, equalized very early and kept the lead until the end. Viborg was hit by their own weapons, Austrian counter attack goals. The biggest distance was eight goals, the match was decided in the middle of the second half. Aside the defeat the severe injury of playmaker Johanna Ahlm was a shock for Viborg, maybe she’s out for weeks after a knee injury. The two only good news for the reigning champion: Viborg won the direct encounter against Hypo after the 35:26 in the first match – and the Danes can qualify for the semifinal by a home victory against Volgograd next weekend.

TEXT: Björn Pazen

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