SUMMARY: Ikast stun Vipers, Toft saves the day for Györ
In an action-packed opening weekend we've seen eight games - five on Saturday, and then three more on Sunday!
- on Saturday we've seen Ikast defeat Vipers in our MOTW while Metz proved to be in mid-season form dominating last year's finalists FTC on the road
- CSM defeated Odense in Bucharest, Krim sailed through Lublin, while DVSC defeated Sävehof in what was their EHF CLW comeback after 13 seasons
- on Sunday, Buducnost lost to Bietigheim at home, and Esbjerg managed to reach a win over Rapid Bucuresti
- in an exciting finish, Sandra Toft saved Brest' buzzer-beater attempt to help Györ secure the first win of the season
- after Krim did it on Saturday in Poland, on Sunday Györ became the third team to join the 8,000 EHF CLW goals club - first team to ever do it is Buducnost
With that, we're bringing our EHF Champions League Women round one live coverage to an end. We've got an exciting weekend behind us! Ikast managed to stun Vipers, while Metz secured a comfortable win over FTC meaning both of last year's EHF CLW finalists have started the season with a loss. Speaking of last season's semi-finalists on the other hand, Esbjerg and Györ secured wins in the opening round.
Bietigheim defeated Buducnost in Podgorica, and Krim was dominant in Lublin also becoming the second team to join the 8,000 EHF CLW goal club which was, at least up until this weekend, reserved for no one but Buducnost. To make the opening round even more interesting, Györ became the third team to join the club on Sunday afternoon!
CSM opened the season with a home win over Odense, and DVSC celebrated against Sävehof in their first game back after a 13-year-long CLW break.
The EHF CLW action continues next weekend so stay tuned and see you very soon!
It would be absolutely unfair to close the live coverage without the post-match statement of Györ's hero of the day - Sandra Toft!
It was a really tough match. I've played on this court for three years and I know how hard it always is to come out here and deliver your best. Of course we're all thrilled with the final outcome and these first points of the season.
Finally, here are all the EHF Champions League Women group stage round one results! Jump into our X account and let us know which results surprised YOU the most this weekend!
We've got three exciting games behind us, and the best way for you to find out absolutely everything you need to know about them is to read our daily review.
With all eight games of the EHF CLW group stage round one now behind us, we'll once again use the opportunity to invite you all to subscribe to our EHF CL WEEKLY NEWSLETTER. It is the best way to stay connected to all the action as we'll be bringing all the news, results, exclusive stories and much more right to your inbox every Friday.
Some of the best photos from Brest and Esbjerg are now here so feel free to check them out!
Sandra Toft's last-second save helped Györ secure the opening win of the season against a really good Brest Bretagne team. Six goals for Ana Gros on one, and Valeriia Maslova on the other side. In the end, 10 total saves for Sandra Toft, 12 for Julie Foggea.
In Denmark, Kristine Breistol and Henny Reistad netted six each to help Esbjerg secure first points of the season against Rapid Bucuresti. Anna Opstrup Kristensen also played a huge role in the win with amazing 17 saves. Sorina Grozav, on the other side, finished the match with six for Rapid.
Nicely executed by Simona Grozav who finds a tight hole and hurts Esbjerg.
It's 22:23 and Brest possession with exactly five minutes left on the clock. That means we've got a narrow finish ahead of us! The atmosphere in France is pumping!
Despite being in front throughout the most of the game, Györ can't find a way to widen the gap and seal the deal in this one. Going into the final ten minutes, it's a one-goal lead (21:22) for the Hungarians in France.
8,000 EHF Champions League Women goals - checked. Congrats!
Ten minutes into the second it is a +3 (17:20) Györ lead in France. Their defense, and offensive transition led by Stine Oftedal are proving to be the key in these moments.
In Denmark it's 21:18 in favor of Esbjerg. Henny Reistad has six, Kristine Breistol five at the moment.
A quick goal to start the second half brings Brest to only -1!
What a play this was from Brest Bretagne!
Four goals for Ana Gros so far, and a four-goal lead for Györ heading into the final ten minutes of the first. Can Brest stop the guests from extending the gap additionally?
Teamwork makes the dream work. Henny Reistad and Rikke Iversen surely agree.
In Denmark, the result is 6:6. Eliza Iulia Buceschi is leading Rapid with three, while Henny Reistad has two for Esbjerg.
What a way to start the game from Györ! Their defense is looking great, and their offense even better! It's 2:6 only seven minutes into the game.
Györ managed to find the way through to the goal in their first possession in the game. It was - who else than Ana Gros! Brest responds quickly through Eva Jarrige.
On the other hand, Esbjerg's head coach Jesper Jensen knows how hard these first matches of the season can be, especially when playing against top-quality teams: ''It's hard to say what the match-deciding factor will be in this one. Rapid is paying us a visit in the first round, and I feel like they are one of the teams that will be fighting for the top spot in out group. I believe the team that finds the way to adapt first to everything EHF CLW brings to the table will have a great chance to win this one'', concluded Jensen.
In case they manage to score at least 18 goals in this game, Györ will find themselves in the exclusive company of only two other clubs that have managed to score over 8,000 goals in the EHF Champions League Women - Buducnost, and Krim who did it yesterday in Poland against Lublin.
While waiting for our two last games of the round, let's check out some of the best photos from Podgorica.
A few big saves from Armelle Attingre in the last few minutes, but as we're slowly closing in on the final five minutes of this one Bietigheim still has a four-goal lead (19:23).
Just have a look at how easy this looks. Beautifully done by Xenia Smits.
Six goals for Karolina Kudlacz-Gloc, five for Dorottya Faluvegi as guests keep on widening the gap in Podgorica. It's 12:17 at the moment, just over ten minutes into the second, and home-team coach Bojana Popovic decided it was the perfect time to call for a timeout in order to try and calm her team down helping them find the way to get back into the right rhythm.
The second half is underway! Bietigheim scores a quick one to make it 10:12.
Dorottya Faluvegi's 4/4 helped Bietigheim make a late push in the first and go to the half-time break with a one-goal lead in hand. Gabriela Goncalves Dias Moreschi and Armelle Attingre grabbed seven saves each in the first half of the encounter that's far from decided after the first 30.
Exactly 20 minutes into the game Buducnost leads 8:4. Bojana Popovic' idea to focus on slowing Bietigheim's offensive transition is proving to be a great one so far with the guests struggling to find the net in the early stage of the game.
Starting the new season in style it's Kalidiatou Niakate.
Five minutes in the game is levelled at 2:2 with defenses dominating the encounter on both sides so far.
The match in Podgorica is underway! Buducnost is going to have the first possession.
With just over 15 minutes left until the opening buzzer, here are the warm-up photos from Podgorica, Montenegro.
Later on today, we'll see the other two last season's EHF CLW semi-finalists take the court - Györ is going up against Brest Bretagne in France, and Esbjerg is going to welcome Rapid Bucuresti.
It's been a nightmare opening so far for last season's semi-finalists with Vipers losing to Ikast in Denmark, and FTC suffering a rough defeat versus Metz which is why it will be interesting to see the shape Györ and Esbjerg are in at the start of the new season.
Coach Vestergaard believes his team is in a good position travelling to Montenegro, but he knows it is going to be a tough one.
The goal is clearly to get off to a good start in the EHF Champions League Women, but we're surely aware of how hard of a task is waiting for us in Podgorica against Buducnost. After a good start in the national championship, we are travelling to Montenegro with a lot of confidence, eager to bring first two points of the season back home with us.
In our first match of the day, Jakob Vestergaard's Bietigheim is going up against Bojana Popovic and Buducnost. And while they will today face each other from the opposite sides of the court, the two share plenty of memories they'll surely never forget. Back in 2009. and 2010., Jakob Vestergaard-led Viborg climbed the EHF Champions League Women throne in back to back seasons with Bojana Popovic playing a crucial role on the court for the Danish team.
Facing her coach from back in the day, Bojana Popovic - now at the helm in Podgorica, believes she knows what will be the key in this one: ''I believe we've analyzed them well in these past few months. While they can hurt you in positional attack, their main strength is the transition, and in order to succeed we're simply going to have to find an answer for that. A difficult one is surely ahead of us, but we'll do our best to start the season with a victory!''
Welcome back! With only an hour left until the first game of the day in which Buducnost is going to welcome Bietigheim, the live coverage is up and running.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9
That will be it for tonight! Have a great night ahead and see you tomorrow! Live coverage is going to be up and running again from 13.00 CET tomorrow, with the first game scheduled for 14.00 CET.
Everything you need to know about today's matches you'll find in our daily review!
Defeating reigning EHF Champions League Women winners in the first round surely deserves some extra credit which is why we'll be closing our today's live coverage with a post-match statement from Ikast' head coach Kasper Christensen.
Of course I'm happy, but not really surprised as we knew that we're capable of delivering a good performance against Vipers. We've already, in our national championship, seen that we can press some of the best teams in Europe and Kristiansand is surely one of those teams. I feel like we've managed to really stick to our plan throughout the full course of the game. Our defense was looking solid today. It was maybe even one of our best defensive displays in years.
As we're slowly bringing our live coverage for the day to an end, we've got to use the opportunity to invite you all to subscribe to our EHF CL WEEKLY NEWSLETTER. It is the best way to stay connected to all the action as we'll be bringing all the news, results, exclusive stories and much more right to your inbox on every Friday.
Tomorrow we'll see the other two last season's EHF CLW semi-finalists in action - Györ is travelling to France to play Brest, ad Esbjerg is welcoming Rapic Bucuresti. Opening the day from 14.00 CET will be Buducnost and Bietigheim.
Five quality matches today, and three more coming up tomorrow. Today we've seen last season's EHF ELW winners Ikast Herning deliver a splendid performance and come out on top against reigning EHF CLW champions Vipers.
Krim and Metz proved to be in mid-season form with the Slovenian team facing Polish Lublin, and Metz dominating last season's EHF CLW finalists FTC in Hungary!
CSM defeated Odense on wings of a splendid performance by their goalie Laura Glauser and who else then Cristina Neagu. Finally, after 13 long seasons, DVSC returned to the EHF CLW in style with a home win over Sävehof.
With all three evening games behind us, it's time to have a quick glance at some of the photos from Bucharest, Debrecen, and Lublin.
A late push helps Odense cut the gap to one with five minutes left to play, but CSM remain calm and finish strong. Cristina Neagu scores eight goals, Laura Glauser explodes for amazing 20 saves. Maren Nyland Aardahl scores seven for Odense.
Huge road win for Krim in a match in which they were able to rotate the roster and give everyone a chance with almost all players writing their names on the scoresheet. We've got to highlight Jovanka Radicevic and her 5 goals because, even in her 20th EHF CLW season she's showing no signs of stopping.
In what was their return to the EHF Champions League Women, DVSC managed to defeat Sävehof flying on the wings of Petra Vamos and her six goals. Having the privilege of watching their team compete against the best again after 13 long years, and celebrating in the end - it sounds like it's going to be a long night ahead for DVSC fans!
Amazing 1:5 scoring series brings Odense on a verge of making it a completely levelled game with 24:23. Five minutes left to play in Romania, and it looks like we're poised for a narrow ending.
Absolutely amazing 17 saves for Laura Glauser as we're entering the final ten minutes in Bucharest. CSM leads 23:18.
New season, new opponents - same danger for for the opposition goalies. Ladies and gents, one and only - Cristina Neagu! Some things really never change.
Seven minutes in it's +4 CSM Bucuresti, +16 Krim, and +6 DVSC. Laura Glaser keeps on shining for CSM, while Barbara Aarenhart takes care of business between the posts for Krim.
We're back for the second half of action!
A save from Barbara Aarenhart on one, leads to a beautiful goal from Alja Varagic on the other side. Krim is looking really good so far against Lublin in Poland.
With five minutes left on the clock in Bucharest, CSM has a comfortable 16:7 lead led by Elena Crina Pintea, and who else than Cristina Neagu with the two combining for 10 goals in this one so far. Laura Glaser appears to be in good mood as well with eight saves.
A nine-goal lead for Krim in Poland as Barbara Aarenhart shines stopping over 50% of shots heading her way. It looks like it is going to be tough night for the Polish time unless they find a way to hurt Krim offensively, and slow down their offensive transition. DVSC, on the other hand, has a 14:11 home lead against Sävehof with Thea Blomst and her 5/5 for the Swedish team being the only reason why the home team hasn't managed to additionally extend the gap.
CSM keeps up the strong pace on the defensive side in the first, controlling the transition on the other side and widening the gap to 12:6 midway through the opening half of the game. Crina Elena Pintea has four goal.
5:2 early lead for Krim in Poland as Barbara Aarenhart grabs two saves. In Debrecen, Greta Kacsor already has three as DVSC leads Sävehof 8:5.
Strong start helps CSM open the gap early. Three minutes in, the hosts are already 3:0 ahead.
The stages are set, and the first whistle is here! In Bucharest, CSM is welcoming Odense, Krim is playing on the road in Lubin, and DVSC is welcoming Sävehof!
CSM appear to be in a really good form early in the season following a nine-goal Romanian Super Cup win over their biggest rivals Rapid. Laura Glaser is aware of how important these first EHF CLW games of the season can be: ''It is always good to start the season with a win. It won't be easy this time as Odense has a really good team, and I'm sure it will be a tough game. We're excited for the new season however, and we can't wait to meet our fans in the Polivalenta sports hall!''.
With just over ten minutes left until the first whistle of the final three games of the day, let's check out some of the best photos from Denmark and Hungary.
''I feel like we fought hard today but we simply failed to make that final step and win points. We can definitely do better than this, and I'm sure we'll show it in the matches ahead!'', said Jana Knedlikova after the game.
Irma Schjött was obviously very happy with the game: ''Of course we are very happy with the way we played here today in the first round, and with this win over Vipers in the end. I am happy about my performance but this was a team win and we'll surely all enjoy it now!''
An absolute masterclass performance from Irma Schjött who finished the game with 20 saves eventually taking a well-deserved MOTW MVP title helped Ikast secure a win over Vipers! That way, last season's EHF ELW winners have managed to defeat reigning EHF CLW champs in the first round. Is there a better proof that an exciting season is ahead of us?
Nine goals from Chloe Valentini, and 13 saves for Hatadou Sako as Metz secure an easy road win in Hungary. Antje Angela Malestein finished the game with nine goals for FTC but that was not enough for the Hungarian team to endanger Metz today.
Save number 17 from Irma Schjött, and a goal number one from Marketa Jerabkova help Ikast widen the gap to four with only five minutes left on the clock in Denmark. Vipers have to start reducing the gap, and they have to do it now in case they want to secure at least a point in the first round!
What a day for Stine Ruscetta Skogrand so far! She's 5/5 and Ikast have a five-goal lead going into the final 12 minutes of the encounter. Will we see a surprise in the first encounter of this season's EHF CLW?
Simone Cathrine Petersen punishes Vipers' offensive mistake in transition making it +4 (22:18) for Ikast again! Irma Schjött has 12 saves and the hosts are in a really good position with nothing but the final quarter of the game left.
We're ten minutes into the second half, and the hosts are back in front in Denmark (17:15). Vipers Kristiansand in the chasing role again! Meanwhile Metz has +10 in Hungary as Chloe Valentini shines with 8/8.
Second half is under way!
Tuva Ulsaker Hove scores her first of the day to level the game at 12:12 in Denmark with just under a minute and a half to go in the first. After leading by as much as six goals in the earlier stage of the first half, Ikast slowed down allowing Vipers to get back into this one. An interesting second half is surely ahead of us!
With under five minutes to go in the first, Metz extends the gap to six goals in Hungary (11:17). Seven saves for Camille Depuiset who has managed to stop just under 40% of shots heading her way being the key factor in her team's splendid first-half performance.
With only ten minutes left until the half-time buzzer, Ikast leads 10:8. Anne Mette Hansen is, on the other hand, leading Metz in Hungary with five goals. Currently, French team is 10:14 ahead.
Making sure Irma Schjött is not the only goalkeeper we're talking about in this match is Katrine Lunde, and all that in her nineteenth EHF CLW season. Just wow!
A dreamy start of the match continues for coach Kasper Christensen and his team as Ikast widens the gap to six goals (8:2) just 12 minutes into the encounter. It looks like Vipers can't find a way through home-team defense, and when they eventually do incredible Irma Schjött is here to turn them down - even from the seven-meter line!
Solid defensive display early on helps Ikast extend the gap to four (6:2) with nine minutes on the clock. Four saves from Irma Schjött, two goals from Stine Ruscetta Skogrand.
Skogrand and Hougaard score one each as Ikast overtakes the lead at 3:2. Meanwhile, Metz leads FTC 0:3 in Hungary with Camille Depuiset starting the match incredibly well with four early saves.
The games are under way! Lisa Tchaptchet Defo opens the scoring in Denmark as Vipers takes a 0:1 lead.
''We're working hard every day, aiming for the goal we've set for ourselves and that is to, primarily of course, get better every single day. Girls are looking ready for the task ahead'', concluded Tomas Hlavaty, Vipers head coach ahead of the trip to Herning.
On the other hand, Kasper Christensen - head coach of the home team in this one said: ''Vipers are an absolute world-class team with some of the best players in women's handball like Katrine Lunde and Anna Vyakhireva. Meeting the three-time EHF CLW winners at home in the first round is a dream for us.'' It will surely be interesting to see whether Christensen and his players have what it takes to endanger the reigning champions in the first round, and make it a dream their fans would surely have a hard time trying to forget!
With only 15 minutes left until the opening whistle in Denmark and Hungary, take a minute to check out our Dare to Rise campaign video that is surely going to get your blood flowing, and set the tone for what's only minutes away now!
16 teams, 8 games, round 1, season 2023/2024. Visual with all the starting times is here!
𝟭𝟲 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠𝗦 𝗗𝗔𝗥𝗘 𝗧𝗢 𝗥𝗜𝗦𝗘 𝗜𝗡 𝗧𝗛𝗘 #ehfcl 𝗪𝗢𝗠𝗘𝗡 #CLW— EHF Champions League (@ehfcl) September 8, 2023
There are returning teams, there are powerhouses who aim to dethrone @VipersKrSand 🏆 and there are also new names, ready to make their stand ❗
📝 https://t.co/cwJ0CT526s pic.twitter.com/2gZVFvXi8u
Welcome to the live coverage of the first round of the EHF Champions League Women group stage! We've got two exciting days ahead with the competition starting with some top-class games between the teams you surely already know a lot about!
To keep you up-to-date, we've prepared a round preview where you'll find out everything you need to know about the eight encounters we'll be focusing on today and tomorrow. We've also talked to Markéta Jeřábková ahead of the MOTW of round one in which Vipers will head to Denmark to play Ikast. As if that wasn't enough, we've also prepared a piece about the most experienced players in our this season's campaign, led by who else than the incredible Montenegrin star player Jovanka Radicevic!