|09.04.2017, 22:19||◄ last page|
QUARTER-FINAL REVIEW: Larvik could only field nine court players in Podgorica, so Buducnost took a huge step towards the TIPPMIX EHF FINAL4.
Injury-ridden Larvik suffer devastating defeat in Podgorica
As balanced as the other quarter-finals seemed, Buducnost took full advantage of the injury crisis in Larvik and easily beat their Norwegian rivals by fourteen goals. The visitors fought proudly but as fatigue took hold, Buducnost ran over their opponent and are only a small step away from securing their place in the TIPPMIX EHF FINAL4.
QUARTER-FINAL, FIRST LEG
Buducnost (MNE) vs Larvik (NOR) 31:17 (14:9)
At least one (if not both) of these European heavyweights made it to the semi-final of the Women’s EHF Champions League in the last eight seasons. But this year they meet in the quarter-final, so either the Norwegian or the Montenegrin side will miss the action in Budapest.
After a relatively even first fifteen minutes, Darly Zoqbi De Paula’s saves led to a great run from her team, which saw Buducnost take a five-goal lead against the injury-ridden Larvik side. The Brazilian goalkeeper pulled of some breath-taking saves and the home side gathered momentum with goals from Cristina Neagu.
Buducnost gathered momentum
Anja Hammerseng-Edin seemed to be the only one who could find a way past De Paula, the trio of Kristine Breistol, Linn Koren Riegeluth and Gro Hammerseng-Edin scored two goals from 10 shots and the Montenegrin outfit took a commanding lead by the half-time break.
It took only five minutes for the home side to double their half-time lead in the second half. Dragan Adzic pulled his team’s defence together and the visitors struggled in front of the massive Montenegrin wall.
As fatigue started to take its toll on the visitors, Buducnost threatened to take not only the match but also the Norwegians’ hopes of reaching the FINAL4 altogether. Tine Stange’s goals kept the margin around ten goals but Larvik, as expected due to the limited options Tor Oddvar Moen was left with, ran out of fuel and Buducnost made good use of it.
Dragan Cvijic and Neli Irman joined the scoring feast of Neagu and Buducnost’s lead grew to 15 goals, which was reduced to 14 at the buzzer. While there have been miracles in sport, it is safe to say Buducnost will likely make it to their fourth straight FINAL4.
However, Cristina Neagu urged caution for the second leg: "We have a huge advantage ahead of the second game, but nothing is not over yet, because we have to be serious in Norway.
"We respect ourselves first, then the opponent, and it has brought great performance and victory with 14 goals difference.
"We need to rest, because the pressure before the match was big, but we know that we have to be up to the task and in the second game and we want to win and in Norway."
TEXT: Bence Mártha / kc