Herning-Ikast begin with impressive win; Siofok and Kuban split points
The opening day of the first EHF European League Women group phase featured five matches and the home sides generally dominated as they won three games, with two more outings ending in a draw.
Herning-Ikast Handbold last faced Zvezda Zvenigorod more than ten years ago, when the Danish side were called FC Midtjylland, and while their meetings had been tight in the past, on Saturday Herning-Ikast made things clear early in the match and went on to claim an impressive victory.
2019 EHF Cup winners Siófok KC fought hard against Russian side Kuban and ground out one point at home despite never leading during the match.
Herning-Ikast Handbold (DEN) vs HC Zvezda (RUS) 34:25 (15:13)
- the hosts were in control of the game throughout the first half, seeing their advantage grow up to four goals by the 25th minute, thanks to their pair of wingers Line Mai Hougaard and Naja Kristensen scoring eight goals combined in the first 30 minutes
- Herning-Ikast cruised away after the break, thanks to a strong defence and an impressive Naja Kristensen at the left wing. At the 50th minute, the Danish side were up by ten, 30:20, their biggest lead of the game
- this nine-goal win was the biggest Herning-Ikast ever recorded in the European League and EHF Cup group phase
- Naja Kristensen scored 12 goals for the hosts, finishing as the best scorer of the game
Naja Kristensen beats all records
The 21-year-old left wing scored 13 times in the entire EHF cup campaign in 2018/19, over the course of ten games. This afternoon, she almost tied this record, but over one single game. Fast breaks, lobs, powerful shots - she did everything to Zvezda’s goalkeepers, who only managed to deny her shots three times. No wonder Kristensen was all smiles after scoring her team’s last goal as she enjoyed a perfect afternoon.
Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK (TUR) vs MKS Perla Lublin (POL) 20:20 (10:9)
- Lublin’s Djurdjina Malovic opened the score in the first minute, but it was Polish team’s only lead during the match
- despite that, the first half featured very tight battle, yet Alena Ikhneva’s goal before the break gave Kastamonu a 10:9 advantage
- the Turkish side were dominant for much of the second half, as the experienced new signing Amanda Kurtovic helped them to a 20:16 lead by the 54th minute
- however, Lublin managed an impressive late comeback, and Natalia Nosek’s goal two minutes from full time sealed the final 20:20 score
Handball Club Lada (RUS) vs Nantes Atlantique Handball (FRA) 32:29 (14:14)
- Nantes got off to a better start, as goals by back court players Deborak Kpodar and Gordana Mitrovic as well as Adrianna Placzek’s saves saw them leading 5:1 eight minutes into the game
- Lada, who played their first game in the current competition, gradually recovered from a slow start and drew level after a 3:0 run before the break
- driven by Viktoryia Shamanouskaya, who scored five of her seven goals in the second half, the home side enjoyed a 7:2 run to establish a 24:19 lead
- Nantes’ Bruna De Paula became the top scorer of the game with nine goals and her impact helped her team to slash the gap to 30:29 by the 58th minute, yet Lada held their nerve and ultimately claimed two points
CS Minaur Baia Mare (ROU) vs Storhamar Handball Elite (NOR) 33:29 (14:13)
- back after five years in a European competition, Baia Mare recorded their first win of the season, with an impressive 12:3 run in the last 16 minutes of the game Norwegian goalkeeper Stine Lidèn saved six shots in the first nine minutes to lift Storhamar to a 5:2 lead
- making her European debut, Storhamar’s 18-year old left wing Susanne Amundsen had a superb first half, scoring three goals
- Storhamar scored only twice in the last nine minutes of the first half as Baia Mare’s 4:1 run helped the Romanian side secure a 14:13 lead at the break
- backs Guro Nestaker and Tonje Enkerud scored three goals apiece to help Storhamar build a 9:2 run in the first seven minutes of the second half, as Baia Mare were down by five, 22:17
- Baia Mare’s goalkeeper Filippa Idehn scored two goals in the last two minutes to seal the Romanian side’s win
Siófok KC (HUN) vs Kuban (RUS) 28:28 (15:18)
- the teams started the game head-to-head, but with accurate attacks Kuban took a three-goal lead. As the host’s goalkeeper Melinda Szikora was brought in, Siófok came back, however the Russian squad restored the difference by half-time
- Kuban’s right wing Diana Golub scored 6 goals only in the first half.
- in the next period, Tamara Horacek netted five times in a row and with Szikora’s great saves, Siófok tied the game.
- the fight was a fair one as the first suspension was given only in the 50th minute
- Siófok’s Andrea Kobetic and Tamara Horacek both finished the match with nine goals while Iana Savinova was Kuban’s top scorer with seven