Jerábková seals Ikast's last-gasp win against Krim
Six teams closed round 4 of the EHF Champions League Women, giving Europe's top-flight fans one last dose of drama ahead of the national team week break. CSM Bucuresti strolled down Partille, taking a no-nonsense win against Sävehof.
Györi Audi ETO KC had an equally relaxed day at home leaving no hope for Buducnost. In the battle of the only two unbeaten teams of group B, we saw amazing action, comebacks, decisive saves and a last-gasp goal. Ikast's dream start continues as they inflict the first defeat of the season to Krim in the final moments of the game.
- strong defence and a fast-paced attack were keys for CSM's confident 41:26 win against Sävehof, with Vilde Ingstad and Emilie Arntzen leading the pack, both with six goals out of six attempts
- this is only the fourth time since the 2007/08 season that Sävehof has started the CL season with four straight defeats
- this is Györ's biggest win against Buducnost in their 28 encounters in the EHF Champions League - previously the biggest one was a 32:19 win in October 2022
- Markéta Jerábková's last-second goal was only her first goal in the game
- Emma Friis and Ingvild Bakkerud were Ikast's top scorers in a 33:32 win against Krim, each scoring eight times
CSM Bucuresti returned back to winning in style with a 15-goal victory, while the home side remains one of two winless teams in the competition, alongside MKS Zaglebie Lubin. There was no question about the winner of the game right from the start. A 4:0 run midway during the first half and Trine Østergaard's fourth goal for the first double-digit lead (17:7) sealed the deal for the Romanian side. Even though Sävehof's goalkeepers, Johanna Bundsen and Annie Linder were doing their best to boost their teammates, the Swedish attack just could not cope with CSM's defence. With 12 out of 13 field players scoring at least once and with all three goalkeepers at a good save efficiency, CSM kept a big lead throughout and eventually confirmed a 41:16 win. Interestingly, only Cristina Neagu did not score on Sunday which is a rare occasion in her rich CL history. She is still three goals short from the 1,050 milestone, but she did have five assists.
It was a tough game. They are a couple of levels better than us, which they showed today. We’re disappointed that we didn’t solve the small details that we had agreed on beforehand, but tactically it’s also more difficult against a team that has such great players.
Györ was unstoppable against Buducnost, giving a top performance on both sides of the court. After opening the match with four straight goals, the Hungarians soon reached an eight-goal lead. Buducnost struggled, and welcomed their first goal in the sixth minute, but with Sandra Toft being at 53 per cent save efficiency, they could not hope for a better halftime result. Not much changed in the second half as only Milena Raicevic and Adriana Cardoso de Castro were able to score more than three goals altogether in the game. On the other side, Estelle Nze Minko and Ana Gros combined for 17 goals between them. This defeat marked only the second time in Buducnost's CL history that they have lost the first four matches of the season.
We were not ready in the first half and every mistake we made was punished with a goal. We knew it would be difficult. We had to fight for every ball. We have to be patient and we have to bring everyone to top level.
A game worthy of the top-of-the-group battle as both Ikast and Krim showed a warrior mindset. It was a narrow game right from the start with goalkeepers Irma Schjött and Barbara Arenhart providing some breathtaking and decisive saves. Arenhart was the one who helped Krim become the first side to take a more significant lead when she not only saved, but also scored for an 18:14 lead before the break. Ikast turned the tide in the 47th minute with a 3-0 run and then took a lead (28:27), their first since 13:12. This set the stage for an incredible last 13 minutes. At the end of the match Krim managed to level, but, Maja Vojnovic saved her first and gave the Slovenian side a chance to score for a possible win. But, on the other side Schjött stopped Mavsar giving Ikast 12 seconds for a perfect ending. Markéta Jerábková turned the dream into reality when she scored almost at the buzzer for the eruption of emotions.
Krim is a team that is tactically very strong, so today we didn't meet a team who allowed us to play our way, but our mentality and the players who came in from the bench did a good job and that makes me really proud.