Malaga win maiden European title after thriller in Zagreb
Rincon Fertiliad Malaga won their first title and the very first EHF European Cup Women trophy after a thrilling second leg in Zagreb on Saturday evening.
Lokomotiva battled hard but in the end, could not break Malaga’s four-goal lead from the first leg. The Spanish team trailed by six at one point of the match but did not give up and regained control with strong periods at the end of both halves.
The home side took over midway through the first half held on to their desired lead until the final five minutes of the match when they were outmatched by the Spanish team’s strength and concentration in a breath-taking affair.
EUROPEAN CUP FINAL, SECOND LEG
RK Lokomotiva Zagreb (CRO) vs Rincon Fertilidad Malaga (ESP) 31:28 (18:14)
First leg 28:32, Malaga win 60:59 on aggregate
- The Spanish team had an early lead but Lokomotiva’s counter-attacks brought them a six-goal lead in the first-half
- Malaga was deadly from the left wing, Soledad López scored seven goals, including the first four
- Lokomotiva were driven by the Posavec and Kalaus twins, who combined for 21 goals
- after trading goals at the four-goal margin for most of the second half, the last five minutes of the match were crucial as Malaga crucially closed the gap to two goals
Deadly left wing
Rincon Fertilidad Malaga lifted their first European trophy on Saturday night and one player, in particular, set the tone for them.
Left wing Soledad López scored her side’s opening four goals on the night and finished as the top scorer with seven, taking her tally for the season to 48. What a night, what a season.
We knew it would be more difficult than the first leg but we made it through.
When I saw the score after 60 minutes, I thought, oh my God and now we are really, really happy.
Zagreb stayed really close and we lost some important balls but at the final whistle, we made it.