|03.03.2017, 21:00||◄ last page|
GROUP 2 REVIEW: CSM is still alive and kicking, as the title defenders earned their second consecutive quarter-final berth with a 28:26 win against Krim
CSM seal quarter-final spot with win over Krim
A tumultuous season could have come to an abrupt end for CSM Bucuresti if they had not won against RK Krim Mercator on their home court.
The Romanian powerhouses’ season went from bad to worse last week with a 35:33 loss to Larvik, but they managed to steer back into friendly waters after beating Krim 28:26.
CSM Bucuresti (ROU) vs RK Krim Mercator (SLO) 28:26 (14:12)
CSM Bucuresti got off to a fast start with three goals in just over three minutes, leaving their Slovenian opponents standing.
RK Krim Mercator needed nearly five minutes to score their first goal. As they tried to rally back, they found themselves in the same dilemma as in the first game between the two sides, with no real power to break CSM's defence.
CSM goalkeeper Paula Ungureanu was in astonishing form, with two 7-metre shots saved, but Krim managed to cut the gap to only one goal, 7:6, after 16 minutes.
Highs and lows for CSM
The Slovenian side even managed to tie the game, forcing a flurry of turnovers from CSM's Gnonsiane Niombla with their aggressive defence.
Were it not for Isabelle Gulldén, CSM would have been in serious trouble, with the creative Swede playmaker finding solutions to keep Krim at bay.
A scrappy Krim continued to apply pressure in the second half.
An off-night from Majda Mehmedovic, who missed five shots, including three in the second half, ushered Krim back into the game. The Slovenian side took the lead at 22:20 for the first time after 42 minutes.
But a total collapse from Krim practically handed CSM the win. A 6:0 run extending over 10 minutes built an unassailable lead for CSM.
Krim tried to attempt a comeback, but their efforts proved futile.
Key match for CSM
CSM coach Aurelian Rosca acknowledged it had not been a perfect match.
"It was a very important game, with a lot at stake," he said. "We started very well, but some misses made our opponents come back in the game.
"In the second half, when they were leading by two, our team started defending better. It was a game with a lot of mistakes on both sides, however I want to congratulate my team for winning in the end.”
CSM right-wing Carmen Dolores Martin Berenguer added: "It was a tough game but we are happy that we won. The winning spirit was strong today for us. We do not have any preferences on who to play against in the quarter-finals. Last year we played against the best opponent from the other group and still made it to the final."
Krim left-back Elizabeth Omoregie praised her team's efforts.
"It was a good and highly-disputed match and we fought until the end. However, CSM is a very strong team and it showed today," she said.
CSM’s win means that the Romanian side will still be in play for at least the third place in the group if they win next week in Esbjerg.
On the other hand, Krim is now out, as is Esbjerg. Györ, Larvik, FC Midtjylland and CSM are the four Group 2 teams to progress to the Women's EHF Champions League Quarter-Final.
TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / jh