In-form Vipers take revenge on CSKA
Markéta Jerábková's eight goals helped title-holders Vipers Kristiansand earn a 32:28 win at CSKA and therefore take revenge on the Russian side for a 27:24 home defeat in October.
- Markéta Jerábková and Isabelle Gulldén combined for six goals in the opening 10 minutes, helping Vipers to take a 6:2 lead
- however, CSKA hit back thanks to aggressive defence, thanks to Polina Kaplina's saves and Ana Gros' goals. They drew level at 10:10, but Marta Tomac then netted three times in a row, and Vipers led 16:13 at the break
- Gros ended the game with nine goals, but despite her efforts, Vipers were steadily maintaining their advantage in the second half
- Elena Mikhaylichenko, who had been CSKA's top scorer in the reverse fixture with 10 goals, had to miss the game for family reasons
- Vipers sit second in the group on 14 points, four behind leaders Győr, while CSKA dropped to the fifth on 10 points
Vipers earn fifth straight win
The Norwegian side did not look like a powerhouse early in the group stage, having just four points after five games. But the home loss against CSKA has been their last setback so far – and since then, Vipers have won five consecutive EHF Champions League games, including four away from home.
It looks like they will have a good chance to extend that winning run next week, as they are going to face group outsiders Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK. If the team from Kristiansand keep up their good form, they can certainly fight for the title again.
Ole Gustav Gjekstad, Vipers Kristiansand coach: "It was a tough game against a good opponent and we are happy to win. My team played well, we had a good preparation – it’s nice to earn two points in away game."
Ana Debelic, Vipers Kristiansand line player: "Thanks to CSKA for a good game. I’m really happy that we won today. We played really well; we were the one team today."
Florentin Pera, CSKA head coach: "We were expecting a difficult match. Vipers has all players in the squad. We won in (the) away game, but at that the opponent did not have all of them in the roster. There were good moments, especially in the second half, but we did not use good moments. But no matter what, we fought. I hope that Mikhaylichenko will return soon and we will play at our high level."
Polina Kaplina, CSKA goalkeeper: It's always a pleasure to play against such a difficult opponent. We played well, fought to the end, but did not earn the two points. But we're moving on. We hope to come back stronger.