Thüringer HC book first EHF Finals appearance
In what appeared the most interesting quarter-final pairing, Thüringer HC defended their home court in the second leg against Sola HK in the EHF European League Women 2022/23.
Backed by a stellar performance from Rinka Duijndam, Sola made a good start to the match and showed their intentions to progress after the 35:35 result in the first leg. However, the home side were boosted by the support from the stands and goalkeeper Irma Schjött's saves in crucial moments. With a three-goal win on Sunday, 27:24, Thüringer HC sealed their first EHF Finals Women berth.
QUARTER-FINAL, SECOND LEG
Thüringer HC (GER) vs Sola HK (NOR) 27:24 (16:12)
Thüringer HC won 62:59 on aggregate
Sola made a good start, shocking the home side to lead 3:0 after two minutes. It took some time for Thüringer HC to warm-up their engine, but when they did, we saw a level game (6:6) midway through the first half. Sola began to have problems in attack and were unable to score for a full 13 minutes. THC goalkeeper Irma Schjött had a huge role in that with eight saves at a 57 per cent save efficiency before half-time.
Thüringer HC's six-goal lead seemed to be decisive, but Rinka Duijndam made three important saves at the start of the second half, allowing Sola to cut the German side's lead to two goals (16:18). Despite a good impetus, Kristina Novak's goals and an astonishing 20 saves by Rinka Duijndam (43 per cent efficiency), the Norwegian club lacked additional strength at crunch time. When you add too many turnovers into the mix, it was easy for Thüringer HC to stretch the score to 20:16 via the wings of Johanna Stockschläder and Annika Lott. Irma Schjött remained on a high save efficiency throughout and ended on 45 per cent after making 14 saves.
The draw for the semi-final pairings of the EHF Finals Women will be drawn on Tuesday 28 March at 4pm in Graz, Austria.
Photo credit: Steffen Prößdorf