Larvik had a tough start in the EHF Champions League after the departure of Nora Mörk to Győr: the Norwegian champions started with two surprising defeats, first at home against Sävehof and then against Krim in Ljubljana. So in the third round, it was all or nothing for Larvik if they wanted to keep their hopes for the Main Round alive. On the other hand, Esbjerg made an excellent debut in Europe’s top flight, winning the first two matches confidently.
Their third round encounter was with the roles twisted than expected: Larvik started strong from the first minutes. It was clear to see that they were fighting to stay alive in the race for the main round without panicking, while Esbjerg was far from the level we could see in the previous rounds. The Danish goalkeeper Sandra Toft was the main name in Larvik’s important away victory in her native country: she even scored twice. Esbjerg’s key players didn’t meet their level of the last two games while Larvik used their chances in the game. After an equal first half, the visitors didn’t leave open questions where the two points will end up. Larvik was clearly the better team today, their very important victory was well-deserved in Esbjerg.
Champions League, Group D, 3rd round
Team Esbjerg – Larvik HK 24-31 (13-14)
Team Esbjerg: V. Ingstad 4, E. Polman 4, J. Alm 3, I. Karlsson 3, M. Kviesgaard 3, R. Zachariassen 3, L. van der Heijden 2, M. Vestergaard 2
Larvik HK: L.K. Riegelhuth Koren 8, M. Frafjord 5, K. Breistöl 4, T. Mörk 4, A. Wojtas 4, A. Kurtovic 2, S. Toft 2, G. Hammerseng Edin 1, V. Johansen 1
Penalties: 3/5 ; 4/5
Suspensions: 2 minutes ; 6 minutes