Viborg grind out win in Scandinavian derby
Viborg HK, who had remained unbeaten in the EHF European League Women group phase, were seen as strong favourites ahead of their quarter-final tie against Storhamar Handball Elite.
The first-leg in Norway between the Scandinavian teams was very tight, with both sides having good and bad spells, but the Danish team ultimately earned a 33:31 win.
QUARTER-FINAL, FIRST LEG
Storhamar Handball Elite (NOR) vs Viborg HK (DEN) 31:33 (19:18)
- in a high-scoring first half, Storhamar were up 10:7 but Viborg used a 5:0 run to take a 12:10 lead
- however, the Norwegian team turned things around before the break to enjoy a one-goal advantage at half-time
- Viborg, who boasted the second-best defence in the whole group stage, improved their defence a lot in the second half
- although the teams were level at 30:30 five minutes from full time, Viborg had the upper hand late in the match
- Anniken Obaidli scored 10 goals for Storhamar, while Laerke Nolsoe Pedersen became Viborg's top scorer with nine goals
Unlucky day for Norwegian teams
Two sides from Norway have reached the EHF European League Women quarter-finals, but both teams will find it hard to progress to the EHF Finals Women.
While Sola HK surprisingly lost by eight goals at CS Minaur Baia Mare, Storhamar fought hard against Viborg, but in the end they were also defeated. And while the Hamar-based team will have a chance to turn things around in Denmark, it is certainly not an easy task.
We did all we could to prepare for Viborg. In my eyes, Viborg are playing the fastest handball in Europe. In the first half, I was satisfied with our discipline and the structure in our attacking play. We scored a lot of goals. I am satisfied with our game, but we did not play at our best – and the fight to advance is still alive before the match in Denmark next weekend.
We were both lucky and skilled when we secured the win in the last minutes. I am very glad and proud after this win because it was a tight match from start to finish. This was a good result for us, but it is a new match next Sunday and we have to be sharp to win.