Vipers edge closer to EHF FINAL4 after win in Ljubljana
After an impressive victory in the first leg of the EHF Champions League Women quarter-finals on Sunday in Ljubljana, defending champions Vipers Kristiansand have an excellent chance to book a ticket to the EHF FINAL4 Women in Budapest.
The Norwegian side won at Krim Mercator Ljubljana, 32:25, and they will hope to finish the job at home on Saturday 7 May.
QUARTER-FINAL, FIRST LEG
Krim Mercator Ljubljana (SLO) vs Vipers Kristiansand (NOR) 25:32 (10:14)
- it was Vipers' third victory in as many matches against Krim this season, as the Norwegian outfit won 37:20 and 27:26 in the group phase
- Krim's last lead in the game was 4:3 in the sixth minute, but then Vipers improved their defence to enjoy a four-goal advantage at the break
- with the superb Katrine Lunde in goal and Ana Debelic in attack, the well-organised visitors extended their lead to 20:13 in the 42th minute and remained in control to win by seven goals
- Lunde boasted a 38 per cent saved efficiency after recording 15 saves from 39 shots faced in the match
- line player Debelic scored eight goals from 10 attempts, while Ana Gros netted eight times from 11 shots for the home side
Krim came up short against Vipers
While the Slovenian team had struggled in the group phase, they eliminated FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria in the play-offs and also hoped to do well against title-holders Vipers.
Ana Gros, who joined the team from CSKA before the play-offs, stood out again, but her effort was not enough. Overall, Krim lacked efficiency in attack and had defensive problems, and while they still have a chance to turn things around in Norway, it will obviously be a tough job.
The copyright for the main image used in this article belongs to Sasa Pahic Szabo / kolektiff
We played a good tactical match and a seven-goal victory was very good. The first half was tough, we got away with some goals, and later we had a great start at the beginning of the second half. It was tough in every aspect of the match, but it is not over. There is going to be another 60 minutes and we will prepare for it.
Congratulations to Vipers – they are a really good team. Unfortunately, we lost too many balls in the first half and they punished us. In the second half, we could not find our rhythm and the solution for their attack. It is not over, we will prepare for the match in Norway on Saturday and we still have a chance.