Vipers deal Rapid first home loss
Reigning champions, Vipers Kristiansand are only 60 minutes away from their third consecutive EHF FINAL4 berth, after delivering Rapid Bucuresti their first-ever home loss in the EHF Champions League, 31:25.
QUARTER FINALS, FIRST LEG
CS Rapid Bucuresti (ROU) vs Vipers Kristiansand (NOR) 25:31 (12:18)
- the pivotal moment of the game came at the end of the first half, when Vipers put together a 5:1 run, taking advantage of Rapid’s turnovers, to head to the break with a six-goal lead, 18:12
- Rapid saw their seven-game winning streak and unbeaten home status snapped, as they simply could not stop Vipers and their the top ranked offence in the EHF Champions League Women this season
- Vipers’ top scorer this season, left back, Marketa Jerabkova had another excellent game with six goals, becoming only the fourth player this season to hit the 100-goal mark, after Henny Reistad, Cristina Neagu and Katrin Klujber
- this was also Rapid’s fourth loss of this season in the competition and also the most lopsided one, one goal more than the previous one, against Krim Mercator Ljubljana, in the first leg of the play-offs
- the Romanian side will face a hefty challenge in the second leg next week, with Vipers winning seven out of seven at home this season and 13 out of their last 15 games in the European top competition
Vipers prove too strong for rookies, Rapid
Apart from a five minutes and 52 seconds stint without a goal to start the second half, Vipers Kristiansand made a flawless return to the EHF Champions League Women, after a two-months break, due to finishing first in their group and earning a direct quarter-finals berth.
They showed no rust in one of the hottest arenas in the competition, the Sala Polivalenta, where 5.000 fiery Rapid fans flocked to lift their team. But, the Romanian side could simply not get their attack going against the reigning champions.
Too many turnovers, 15, hampered Rapid’s chances in the game. With the six-goal win the Norwegian powerhouse edge closer to a third consecutive EHF FINAL4 berth.
I mean, it was amazing. I have never experienced an atmosphere like this, the fans. It was so cool. 60 minutes with the tough fight. I'm looking forward to the return match in Kristianstad.
They punished every single mistake we made and this is a team with confidence. That is why they've won the last two years. We were fighting, but it was uphill all the time. I'm happy for us that we kept fighting for the 60 minutes.