Bietigheim survive dramatic ending to book final berth
German powerhouse SG BBM Bietigheim dealt Herning-Ikast Handbold their first loss of the season in the EHF European League Women, 34:33, eliminating the Danish team from contention for the trophy.
Bietigheim will now wait for the result of the second semi-final, which pits Viborg HK against CS Minaur Baia Mare, to learn their opponent in Sunday’s final. Herning-Ikast will meet the losing team in the 3/4 placement match.
- with a strong defence that kept Herning-Ikast Handbold at bay, SG BBM Bietigheim qualified for their second-ever European final in history, after losing the trophy match to Rostov-Don in the Women’s EHF Cup five years ago
- after a 6:2 run early in the first half, Bietigheim led by as many as five goals in the opening 30 minutes, but German goalkeeper Sabine Englert kept Herning-Ikast in the game, with eight saves and a 36% saving efficiency
- down by seven with 15 minutes to go, Herning-Ikast rode a superb game from right wing Cecilie Højgaard Brandt, who scored eight goals, to tie the match at 33:33 before Bietigheim’s Polish back Karolina Kudlacz-Gloc delivered the final blow with two seconds to go
- Bietigheim now have the longest-ever winning streak in the history of the competition — nine in a row since the start of the group phase, and 11 including qualification round 3 — having not lost a game this season and boasting an average victory margin of 7.8 goals per game
- Herning-Ikast lost their second semi-final in a row in the EHF European League Women, with three of their four losses in the history of the competition having come at the business end of the tournament
Herning-Ikast test Bietigheim, but fail to turn the tide completely
The amazing season that Bietigheim boasted before the Energi Viborg EHF Finals just got better, as the German side proved once again why they were considered one of the top favourites for the title just before the group phase. From left wing Veronika Mala showcasing her technique by scoring five super goals, to a sturdy defence that limited the most effective attack in the competition to 12 goals scored in the first half, Bietigheim did it all in a fiery atmosphere in the Vibocold Arena.
They are now on a 49-game winning streak, across all competitions, dating to last season, which definitely proves why the German powerhouse have been seen in such a positive light.
On the other hand, Herning-Ikast lost the semi-final, exactly like last season, and are on a three-game losing streak in the EHF Finals Women. They will rue the missed chances, but the Danish side have something to be proud of — their amazing spirit, which helped them attempt a magnificent comeback.
In the end, we had the better finish, just before the final whistle. We prepared fantastic for this game. We knew what we were up against. We defended great for 45 minutes, but they constantly got closer with goals scored by the wings. It was a game on a high level, but I am proud of my team. We worked hard and we are happy to be in the final tomorrow.