Second-half comeback leads Baia Mare to third
Finishing third in a European competition is never easy, but CS Minaur Baia Mare duly delivered in the 3/4 placement match against Herning-Ikast Håndbold, taking a 33:31 win. The Romanian team completed a superb comeback after a disappointing first half to claim the victory.
Baia Mare finished third in the EHF European League Women this season — the best performance in a European competition since they won the silver medal in the Challenge Cup 2002/03. Herning-Ikast finished fourth after conceding two defeats in two games this weekend.
3/4 PLACEMENT MATCH
Herning-Ikast Håndbold (DEN) vs CS Minaur Baia Mare (ROU) 31:33 (19:16)
- Baia Mare failed once again to find their footing in defence in the first half, as Herning-Ikast scored 19 times in that period, with Norwegian line player Vilde Ingeborg Johansen putting five goals in Baia Mare’s net
- the Romanian side had a much-improved effort from their top scorer Jovana Kovacevic, who scored four times in the first half, yet they only led for a few seconds in the start of the game. Herning-Ikast had a four-goal advantage, 16:12, after 25 minutes
- a 3:0 run fuelled by the Kovacevic, who was the game’s top scorer with 11 goals, helped Baia Mare cut the gap to one goal, 22:21, but the Romanian side missed the chance to tie the game and Herning-Ikast jumped back to a 26:23 lead
- with coach Kasper Christensen insisting to deploy an all-in approach, taking out the goalkeeper for an outfield player in attack, Herning-Ikast broke down. Baia Mare reclaimed the lead, 28:27, with eight minutes to go after a superb 5:1 run
- hitting the post five times in the second half, the Danish side were left emptyhanded, as Minaur Baia Mare took advantage to seal a 33:31 win
Defence wins Baia Mare third place
“We cannot win if we concede so many goals,” lamented Baia Mare’s centre back Cristina Laslo after the 34:36 loss against Nantes Atlantique Handball in the semi-final on Saturday.
Her words were echoed once again on Sunday, as Baia Mare never looked like stopping Herning-Ikast’s juggernaut attack — the most efficient in the EHF European League Women this season.
With Herning-Ikast’s ninth goal in the game, line player Mie Sophie Sando scored Herning-Ikast’s 300th goal of the season after only 11 minutes. It was all about the Danish side, who looked unstoppable at times.
But everything changed in the second half, as Baia Mare amped up their defence, conceding only 12 goals, with goalkeeper Filippa Idehn saving 12 shots and Herning-Ikast hitting the post five times.
It was all joy for Baia Mare, despite their sorrow Saturday evening, as they showed they can compete with the best, even if not at full throttle, after their injuries suffered this week.