Esbjerg beat Lokomotiva for third consecutive win
After a month's break, Team Esbjerg returned to the EHF Champions League women with a win, their third consecutive in the competition, leaving Lokomotiva at the bottom of group B without a point.
The Danish side have a problem with injuries and a couple of players were doubtful before travelling to Croatia. Even though having only 12 players in the squad, Jesper Jensen's team showed what experience and individual quality mean. Young Lokomotiva are gaining valuable experience in giving their best and are still dreaming of the first win in the EHF Champions League Women as they struggle in the top-tier competition.
- Lokomotiva scored their first goal in the eighth minute of the match after Amalie Milling's three saves out of three Croatian attempts
- Esbjerg were playing strongly in defence, not making it easy for Lokomotiva and after a four-goal run at 7:3, they were holding onto their lead
- Lokomotiva's head coach Nenad Sostaric tried to make a change to a 5-1 defence but the Danish side did not have a problem with it, the home side's goalkeeper Lena Ivancok was doing her best, stopping nine attempts
- a double-digit Esbjerg's lead (19:9) was hit in the 39th minute after a nice shot from Kristine Breistøl; the difference between the teams could be seen from the attack efficiency - Lokomotiva were at 34%, while Esbjerg had 60%
- Henny Reistad was Esbjerg's top scorer with seven goals, while Ana Malec netted six times making her Lokomotiva's best scorer
Every player making an impact
The Danish powerhouse has many famous names in their ranks, like Nora Mørk, Henny Reistad, Rikke Poulsen, Kathrine Heindahl and Vilde Mortensen Ingstad among others. Even though Poulsen and Ingstad did not travel to Croatia and Esbjerg had only 12 players in the squad, their quality was clear. Jesper Jensen's team proved every player eligible to play can make an impact. With the absence of Rikke Poulsen between the posts, 22-year-old Amalie Milling took over the role and finished the night with 13 saves at 44% efficiency, staying above that percentage throughout the match. In the attack, all ten outfield players scored at least once with Women's EHF EURO 2022 MVP Henny Reistad leading the way with seven goals.
Tt's always a challenge to come here to Croatia, you have to be well-prepared for everything. Lokomotiva has a great young team full of talented young players that are really hard to play against and I'm happy about these two new points.