Ikast down reigning champions Vipers in majestic comeback
Ikast Håndbold provided the first shock of the season in the EHF Champions League Women, taking a 30:26 win against reigning champions Vipers, while FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria recorded their worst home loss in nearly seven years, dropping the game against Metz Handball 25:38. MKS Zagłębia Lubin marked their debut to the EHF Champions League Women group stage with a hefty 18:36 loss to Krim.
Romanian champions CSM Bucuresti opened their account with a 28:24 win over Odense, while DVSC Schaeffler secured their second-ever win in the European premium competition, 32:29, over Sävehof.
- for the first time in the past three seasons, Vipers Kristiansand lost their maiden match after an excellent performance from goalkeeper Irma Schjött, who saved 17 shots for a 46% efficiency in her debut in the European premium competition
- Metz scored their third-largest number of goals in history in a single match in the EHF Champions League Women in a superb 38:25 win over FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria, the team that eliminated the French champions in the quarter-finals last season
- in their maiden game in the EHF Champions League Women, MKS Zaglebie Lubin were clearly outplayed by Krim Mercator Ljubljana, which clinched one of the largest wins in the 301 matches they played in the competition, 36:18
- DVSC Schaeffler sealed only their second win in history in the EHF Champions League, marking their return to the European premium competition with a clear 32:29 win over Swedish champions IK Sävehof
- the second-best scorer in the history of the EHF Champions League Women, left back Cristina Neagu, added eight goals to her current total of 1037 goals, being the top scorer for CSM Bucuresti in the 28:24 win over Odense
Returning to the EHF Champions League Women for the first time in six years, Ikast Handbold delivered an excellent performance against reigning champions Vipers Kristiansand with a superb 30:26 win, riding a strong outing in the second half to seal the win. Vipers’ former star, Markéta Jerábková, scored five goals in the win, helping her side, the reigning EHF European League Women champions, enjoy a bright start to the season.
It’s been a good start, and I really like it here in Ikast with the girls and coaches. We had a really good tactic plan and we followed it. The defence did a really good job, which also makes my job easier.
For us, there were some situations where it was not working, and they were really effective and the goalkeeper did a really good job as well. It’s the beginning of the season, and we have new centre defenders and they need a little bit more time. Our flow was not good today.
Last season, in the first leg of the quarter-finals, Metz Handball took a six-goal win on FTC’s court, but lost by seven in the away leg. Driven by the aim to avenge that painful loss, Metz spoilt the debut of new coach Martin Albertsen as FTC, the runners-up last season, conceded their worst home loss in seven years, after a 24:37 loss against HC Vardar, in November 2016.
I am very happy, because we started the preseason with six missing players, but today, here we are. I didn’t know what to expect from FTC, because they have a new coach. I’m not sure what the future holds; every point matters in the Champions League.
They punished us for all of our mistakes. I am disappointed about the debut; we practiced well yesterday, but today everything went wrong. I am happy that there will be a game next week, because we can show our real quality there.
The 24-goal win clinched against Anagennisi Artas in January 1997 is still the record win for Krim in the EHF Champions League Women, but the Slovenian team came close in their debut in this season, their 29th in history, with a clear 36:18 win over debutants MKS Zaglebie Lubin. The top goal scorer in the history of the European premium competition, Jovanka Radicevic, was the best scorer for the Slovenian side with five goals.
The Romanian pair of Cristina Neagu and Crina Pintea worked out wonders for CSM, combining for 15 goals, including some crucial ones when Odense were mounting a comeback, to hand the Romanian champions the first win of the season. Goalkeeper Laura Glauser, the All-Star goalkeeper of the 2021/22 season in the European premium competition, also added 20 saves for a 46.5% efficiency to bounce back after a silent season as Ole Gustav Gjekstad, the coach who won the last three titles in the EHF Champions League Women, opened his tenure at Odense with a loss.
It was a really good feeling. We were waiting for a game for a long time. We knew it would be a tough game, and I am happy we kept fighting until the end and we kept a cool mind; this is the most important, the greatest point.
It is a pleasure to play here with a loud audience. Am a little frustrated with how we started our first half. I think it was tough on us and made a lot of mistakes that we were punished for. It went fast, the first ten minutes. But I am also proud of our second half. I think it went well and we stood together as a team. As a new team with a lot of new players, we have a lot to learn from playing against such a great team.
A last-gasp comeback for IK Sävehof fell short, as the Swedish champions nearly cancelled a seven-goal lead for DVSC, cutting it to two goals in the last minute. With former W19 EHF EURO 2019 champions Petra Vamos and Greta Kacsor combining for 11 goals, DVSC stood tall and secured their second win in history in the EHF Champions League Women, 32:29.
This was my first Champions League match. We talked a lot about it earlier with the girls, and I am really happy that I could help the team with my performance. I am really glad that our defence was pretty okay, but I think we need to improve our pivot defence.
We met with a quite good team. We don’t have such strong teams in our league. We tried to do everything to catch them in the result, but we failed. Perhaps if we didn’t play well only in the last 15 minutes, the outcome of the match would have been better.