2021 01 09 Vipers Esbjerg CL. Kristiansand 37
EHF Champions League

Vipers drop a point against feisty Esbjerg

EHF / Adrian Costeiu

It looked like Vipers will be back with a bang in the DELO EHF Champions League after almost three months, yet they only saved a point against a plucky Team Esbjerg, 28:28.

Esbjerg erased a four-goal deficit in the second half, as half of their points won up until now in the DELO EHF Champions League were earned against Vipers, with the first clash between the two sides also ending in a draw, 27:27.

GROUP A

MOTW: Vipers Kristiansand (NOR) vs Team Esbjerg 28:28 (16:14)

-Vipers threw off the game with a 3:0 lead, but never opened a bigger gap, with Esbjerg tying the game once, 8:8, yet failed to take the lead

-a flurry of fast breaks helped Vipers start the second half with a 5:1 run, but Esbjerg replied with their own 6:1 run to take the lead for the first time in the 49th minute, 24:23

- Esbjerg’s top scorers Mette Tranborg and Sonja Frey, who combined for 77 goals prior to the game, scored only four times against Vipers, as the Norwegian defence shut them down; Nora Mørk put ten goals past Esbjerg

-the Danish side, in sixth place with four points, extended their record winless run to seven games in a row, with their last win coming in September 2020, 33:26, against Bietigheim; Vipers meanwhile are still undefeated after five games with eight points

-Vipers have two games scheduled next week, first taking on Rostov-Don on Wednesday, with an away tie against CSM Bucuresti on Saturday. Esbjerg travel to FTC next week

No friendship in feisty clash

This Match of the Week might have been dubbed an all-Norwegian clash, as five of Esbjerg’s players won the EHF EURO 2020 gold with Norway in December. But the friendship with Vipers’ eight gold medalists was left aside on the court. Usual suspects Nora Mørk (ten goals) and goalkeeper Katrine Lunde (nine saves) were superb for Vipers, while Esbjerg’s joint-top scorer was Norwegian right wing Marit Jacobsen, with seven goals.

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