Risovic’s heroics help Krim to shock CSKA
CSKA, who had finished second in group B, were seen as strong favourites in the DELO EHF Champions League play-offs against RK Krim Mercator, who were ranked seventh in group A.
However, Krim seem to know the secret to beating Russian heavyweights. In the group phase, they snatched three points from Rostov-Don, and now upset CSKA in the first-leg encounter, 25:20.
While CSKA still have a chance to hit back in the return leg next week, their Slovenian rivals now certainly have a solid chance to reach the quarter-final.
RK Krim Mercator (SLO) vs CSKA (RUS) 25:20 (12:11)
- Jovana Risovic recorded 11 saves before the break, helping Krim to lead throughout the first half; their advantage reached 11:6 by minute 20
- however, CSKA fought back late in the first half, closing the gap to 11:12 by half-time
- the Russian side were restricted to just three goals between the 31st and 50th minutes, as Krim pulled clear at 20:14
- CSKA were still missing key players Darya Dmitrieva and Polina Vedekhina through injury, alongside Elena Mikhaylichenko who is sidelined for the season
- Krim’s Samara Da Silva was the top scorer of the game with seven goals; Polina Gorshkova netted four times for CSKA
Goalkeepers make huge effort
Krim’s Serbian goalkeeper Jovana Risovic played a tremendous game, finishing it with as many as 26 saves and a 55 per cent save efficiency and playing a major role in her team’s surprising victory.
For CSKA, Anna Sedoykina did not start well, but Chana Masson who replaced her during the first half, went on to have her impact, too. The Brazilian made 12 saves with a 52 per cent save rate, yet the Russian team could not benefit from her effort.
It was a surprise – we prepared a lot on Darya Dmitrieva, and then we saw that she was not in the team. I have to say it doesn't matter what the result is today – minus one, plus five or plus seven – CSKA is for me a big favourite and it is going to be a really tough match. Our job is to prepare and we will see what will happen in the second match.