Esbjerg earn win in Bucharest thanks to last-gasp goal
In an entertaining first leg of the EHF Champions League Women quarter-finals in Bucharest, Vilde Mortensen Ingstad's last-second goal secured Team Esbjerg a narrow win at CSM Bucuresti, 26:25, and the tie is still wide open ahead of the return leg in Denmark on Sunday 8 May.
QUARTER-FINAL, FIRST LEG
MOTW: CSM Bucuresti (ROU) vs Team Esbjerg (DEN) 25:26 (9:12)
- both sides lacked efficiency in the first half, but Esbjerg did a better job and deservedly led by three goals
- inspired by Cristina Neagu, CSM closed the gap to one goal several times after the break before Esbjerg pulled clear to lead 24:20 in the 53rd minute
- however, a couple of Tess Wester's saves saw the home side enjoy a 4:0 run and draw level at 24:24 three minutes from the buzzer, but Esbjerg ultimately won after Henny Ella Reistad set up Vilde Mortensen Ingstad to score on the last attack of the game
- Neagu became the top scorer of the match with nine goals and continues to top the scoring chart of the competition — now with a tally of 103 goals
- after netting seven times for Esbjerg, Kristine Breistøl finished as her team's best scorer and received the Player of the Match award
Another tight battle between CSM and Esbjerg
When CSM and Esbjerg met in the group phase of the EHF Champions League Women, their encounters were also extremely tight, as the teams split the points in Romania (29:29) and Esbjerg claimed a narrow win at home (22:21).
The Danish team were dominant for most of the game on Sunday, and although CSM nearly snatched a draw, Esbjerg's win was a fair result. However, this tie will last for 60 more minutes, and Jesper Jensen's team will need to keep fighting hard if they are to reach the EHF FINAL4 Women for the first time.
The last goal was close, but all in all we are happy with the performance. This is an amazing place to play. They have the best players in the world for the last 10 years – like Cristina Neagu, Yvette Broch, Carmen Martin and Eduarda Amorim – and it is always a pleasure and a challenge to play against them. We have only a slight advantage and we will see what will happen next Sunday.
It was very intense. We knew the game would be very physical and it was like that, but we are happy with the result. It was amazing for us, the crowd was really tough and I think they helped CSM to keep coming back, but it was also nice for us as we like to play with a full venue.
There was very good quality in both teams. They played a very good game today. The crowd was amazing and it mattered at the end of the game to come back.