Women’s handball club Rostov-Don won second most desirable European club trophy.
The HC club of Rostov had to wait 27 years for such an important victory, it was in 1990 when Rostov-Don last won the EHF Cup Winner’s Cup. On the Saturday, the 13th of May, the team of Frederic Bougeant outplayed German SG BBM Bietigheim – 25:21.
SG BIETIGHEIM PLAYED ON AN EQUAL
Two years ago, Rostov-Don players competed for the EHF Cup but lost in the final to Danish TTH Holstebro in the sum of two matches. This time the Russian club was closer to the victory than ever. A week ago, Rostov-Don won a match with SG Bietigheim in away competition 28:25 and furthermore strengthened chances of success. The key objective of the Frederic Bougeant’s Rostov-Don at the return game was to keep the advantage gained in the first match.
There was a huge stir on the banks of Don river prior to the second game. Tickets for the final were sold out and the host organized a spectacular pre-match performance. The game itself was highly exciting, it kept the spectators on the edge of their seat till the final whistle. It was considered obvious that SG Bietigheim was a serious competitor for Rostov-Don, but the German club proved it once again. They were leading at the start of the game, going head-to-head with Rostov during the first half. Rostov-Don had to put a lot of effort to even the score, and that’s a good thing that they made it. The Rostov-Don captain Julia Managarova and Anna Sen didn’t let SG Bietigheim break forward thanks to the girls’ perfect throws during the first minutes of the game. Then Alexandrina Cabral Barbosa joint in with assists and a goal. But the Russian team didn’t manage to break SG Bietigheim away, the result of the first half was 12:12.
OUTCOME OF THE FINAL DECIDED AT THE END OF THE MATCH
Despite the fact that after the first half Rostov-Don still had 3 goals advantage from the previous game, the result of the final was yet to be determined. SG Bietigheim made a good start in the second half, after a tie at the end of the first half, they were leading 2 scores – 14:12. SG Bietigheim showed a strong performance and kept pressing. In the middle of the second half Rostov-Don managed to recover, Maya Petrova scored two goals one after another, that seemed to inspire her teammates.
The prominent Rostov-Don goalkeeper Katrine Lunde made 2 brilliant saves, followed by a pass through the entire field to Julia Managorova who won in one-on-one battle. On the 20th minute of the second half Siraba Dembele helped her team to get a 2-goals advantage and SG Bietigheim almost gave up. It looked like the German team’s strength was waning, one of the players was injured, and 5 minutes before the end of the match, one could already guess a winner of the EHF Cup. SG Bietigheim’s game was rough in the remaining time, in one of the episodes’ the Russian goalkeeper Katrine Lunde got ball in her face and was forced to be replaced by Anna Sedoykina. Meanwhile, Rostov-Don was increasing the lead will the final 25:21. Victory of the Russian club in the EHF Cup!
Many have thought that the second match will be easier for us than the first one, but that was not the case, said the head coach of Rostov-Don Frederic Bougeant. – The girls felt pressure and wanted so much to present fans, heads of the club and their own families with a victory. At the start of the match they were a little nervous but we managed to calm them down. During the game, SG Bietigheim was leading sometimes but we managed to even up the score and change the outcome.
The team captain Julia Managarova said that the team will not stop at this. They have the final of the Russian national championship and national Final 4 Cup ahead, which Rostov-Don intends to win.