We are already two weeks into the Women’s Champions League.
Krim Mercator vs. Viborg 31:25
The much awaited confrontation was a head case, as every Krim-VHK match ever was one. An insurmountable lead of ten can kill a game by silencing the chaser, but it can also create a spectacle. Pirouettes, dives, jumps – we got all the spicy ingredients from Andrea Penezic and her countrywoman, little miss Franic. These two are fabulous together and remind me of Koprivnica’s better days. People will recall a great performance from Grubisic, occasioned by some senseless shooting on Viborg’s side. She did save a penalty taken by Grit Jurack and that is something to brag about, as it was exactly what a save should look like: perfect positioning of the body, the narrowing of the angle to a maximum and a confident reaction. A beauty!
Oltchim vs. Dinamo 31:26
This was a classical piece of handball. A Russian back court shooting whenever, wherever, making troubble for an arduous Romanian defence until… it didn’t. Ardean-Elisei brings Kochetova to a standstill, Khmyrova colides with Vizitiu and the spectators are on their feet. And I haven’t even mentioned the exciting parts: the Manea-Stanca-Vetkova triplet working wonders on both fronts, Vizitiu giving Voina one slap after another with every (spectacular) goal scored, girls finally taking defence seriously. On the Russian side, a lot of determination and gut allowed for this show to take place. It was everything a game should look like in the opening rounds. Coming back to serious matters, I think Dinamo’s loss against Itxako, at home, will cost them the qualification.
Buducnost vs. Byasen 28:18
Last week-end, I ended up watching Buducnost vs. Byasen just because one ought to see every minute of Popovic’s last years in handball. Other than that, Buducnost allowed itself to play bad and really bad to finally win by ten in front of a modest team. All for the sake of having an accessible competition, in order to make handball more known, bla, bla, bla! In other words, 16 teams are too much for today’s women’s handball and Byasen scoring under 20 goals per match proves the point exactly.
Gyori ETO vs. Metz 28:23
I watched Metz more carefully than Gyor in this match. The latter is clearly lacking some composure in both attack and defense. The highlight of their game was Anita on the left wing. On the other side, la poupée russe, Katia Andryushina reminded us how women’s handball is in desperate need of some no 17s. Against this team, Randers will surely go for a consistent advantage on home court where they feel unbeatable. It is outside Denmark things will get tricky, the French being a hard nut to crack for Dalby & co.