20220605 Trophy 2
EHF Champions League

Vipers claim second title in front of record crowd

EHF / Adrian Costeiu

In front of a record 15,400 fans, Vipers Kristiansand became only the fifth team in the history of the EHF Champions League Women to retain their title, defeating Györi Audi ETO KC in the final of the EHF FINAL4 33:31.

The thousands of fans who flocked to the MVM Dome – breaking the record for the largest attendance at a women’s club handball match for the second day in a row – saw Vipers deliver a flawless game. They shocked the favourites with a mixture of superb defence and creative attack, delivering only the second loss this season for the Hungarian side.

FINAL

Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN) vs Vipers Kristiansand (NOR) 31:33 (13:15)

  • Vipers became only the fifth team in history – after Hypo Niederosterreich, Slagelse FH, Viborg HK and Györi Audi ETO KC – to retain the title they won in the previous season
  • Györ were cruising to a 10:7 lead in the first half, until a scoreless stint of nine minutes of 40 seconds, which enabled Vipers build a 6:0 unanswered run that became the backbone of their win
  • the Czech connection of Markéta Jerábková and Jana Knedlikova worked wonders for Vipers in this final, combining for 12 goals
  • this was the highest-scoring final in history at the EHF FINAL4, as the two teams combined for 64 goals, two goals more than the old record, 62, set in the previous season by Vipers and Brest Bretagne Handball
  • Jerábková, who scored 19 goals in the two games of the EHF FINAL4, including seven in the final, was named the MVP of the competition
  • Vipers centre back Isabelle Gulldén scored six goals in the game. She is now in fourth place in the all-time top goal scorer list of the EHF FINAL4, with 55 goals, two less than the record holders, Nycke Groot and Anita Görbicz
  • goalkeeper Katrine Lunde and right back Nora Mørk tied the record for the largest number of titles in history for a single player, six, held by Bojana Popovic and Ausra Fridrikas
  • Vipers are now undefeated in the final of the EHF Champions League Women, winning two out of two, while Györ won five finals and lost four, two of the latter coming in the current format in Budapest

 

Flawless approach makes Vipers champions once again

Back in March, Vipers Kristiansand needed a win in the final round of the group phase against Györ to finish second. Back then, the Hungarian powerhouse had a 13-game winning streak and had clinched the first place in the group. Therefore, the 29:30 loss in Norway looked not to matter so much.

It was all the help Vipers needed to build a winning streak that got them here, to a fairytale ending to a superb season. The Norwegian side won their last seven games in the European premium competition, including the final against Györ in dominating fashion, to retain the title they had won last season.

It was an amazing game from Vipers, as coach Ole Gustav Gjekstad really rode his team’s strengths to secure the win in the final.

As Györ deployed a 5-1 aggressive defence, Gjekstad substituted the goalkeeper for an outfield player in attack to force the Hungarian side to revert to a more 6-0 traditional approach, which really dealt a blow for Györ and their plans.

With everybody chiming in on defence and Katrine Lunde being superb once again, her total adding up to 27 saves over the weekend, Vipers have been nearly perfect in Budapest.

20220605 Gjekstad Quote
I think it’s a little bit crazy to take this challenge, and be crazy not to stand there and wait. We know that most of the crowd are cheering for Györ, and we need to step up and be there.
Ole Gustav Gjekstad
Coach, Vipers Kristiansand
20220605 Leynaud Quote
It is not that easy to win the EHF FINAL4. I lose more than what I won, and this makes more beautiful if you win. Tonight they played better than us. This is sport.
Amandine Leynaud
Goalkeeper, Györi Audi ETO KC

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