Rapid extend unbeaten home streak
Leading from the first whistle until the last, CS Rapid Bucuresti secured their eighth win of the season in their debut in the EHF Champions League Women, with a clean display over Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK, 28:22.
CS Rapid Bucuresti (ROU) vs Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK (TUR) 28:22 (15:13)
- Rapid controlled the game from start to finish, but the final push was made between the 47th and the 52nd minutes, when the Romanian champions jumped to a 4:0 unanswered run that proved to be unassailable
- Kastamonu’s goalkeeper, Merve Durdu, had an outstanding outing in Bucharest, saving 17 shots, for a 42.5% saving efficiency, yet not enough for the Turkish champions to snatch a point
- entering the game after 20 minutes, goalkeeper Diana Ciuca had an outstanding performance between the posts for Rapid, saving 12 shots for a 57% saving efficiency, including one penalty
- after signing in December 2022 for Rapid, Dutch centre back Estavana Polman established herself as a key player for the Romanian champions, scoring six goals and dishing five assists in this match
- Rapid are one of the four teams in the competition to stay unbeaten on their home court, alongside Romanian rivals CSM Bucuresti, French champions Metz Handball and the reigning champions, Vipers Kristiansand
Rapid keep dream alive
For a rookie in the European top competition, albeit a team with big ambitions, Rapid Bucuresti are having a dream season, after securing their eighth win, 28:22, against Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK. The Romanian side dominated the game, but needed a strong run to finish to finally clinch the win, to set up a crunch match against Metz Handball, which will decide their fate in the next round.
Rapid are on 18 points, tied with Györi Audi ETO KC and Team Esbjerg, with the two powerhouses colliding in the last game of the group phase, as the Romanian side is still in the hunt for a place in the quarter-finals, which would be an immense achievement for them.
For Kastamonu, though, things are complicated. The Turkish side are three points behind Storhamar and need a miracle to progress to the next phase. However, after conceding 14 losses last season, a win and a draw are likely welcomed, creating a morale-boost for a side that has looked competitive at times even against stronger opponents.
We had a lot of physical problems in the last months, we have players that played 50 or more minutes and it's very difficult to keep the rhythm. The Romanian championship is very strong and we have to play every Wednesday and Saturday. We reached our objectives, not to concede more than 22 goals. I am grateful and I want to congratulate my team for the great effort.