In the 3rd round in Group D, two newcomers of the EHF Champions League, SG BBM Bietigheim and Vipers Kristiansand played against each other in Norway. While Vipers did quite a solid job in the first two rounds (a defeat in Metz and a win against Buducnost), Bietigheim was struggling in the first two rounds of Europe’s top competition (two defeats against Buducnost and Metz). This time, it was crucial for the German team to win in Norway to keep their dreams of the Main Round alive. The German champions entered the game this way: right from the first minutes of the game, they were taking control and were constantly ahead. Vipers had an awful day: in attacks, there were far too many mistakes that were punished by Bietigheim, while the defense didn’t work well enough to stop their opponent. After 10 minutes played from the game, Bietigheim had a five-goal lead (4-9) and found themselves in a comfortable position. The Norwegians had no response to Bietigheim’s game and for the halftime break, the German advantage was 8 goals (8-16).
There was one way to go for Vipers: all or nothing, they started the second half very aggressively and with some saves from Katrine Lunde and quick goals from Vilde Jonassen, they decreased two of their disadvantage. However, routine wasn’t missing on the other side as Karolina Kudlacz-Gloc scored in a great time for her team to break Vipers’ momentum. Even though the Norwegians didn’t manage to decrease the gap significantly, in the middle of the second half, they were up on four goals (15-19). This meant that the guests were in sight for them, after a long time. But then, Bietigheim found their rhythm back again and within seven minutes, the difference grew to nine goals for the first time in the match (17-26). At this point, the German team could feel a bit more relieved as there were only 12 minutes left from the game, and even though Vipers came closer in the last period of the game, the German victory was in no danger. With great performances from Tess Wester and Kim Naidziniavicius, Bietigheim collected two crucial points in Norway.
EHF Champions League – Group D – 3rd round
Vipers Kristiansand – SG BBM Bietigheim 24-29 (8-16)
Vipers: J. Kristiansen 5, V. Jonassen 5, K. Brattset 4, T. Refsnes 3, L. Sulland 2, M. Aune 2, E. Hegh Arntzen 1, K. Lunde Borgersen 1, M. Kristensen 1
Bietigheim: K. Naidziniavicius 9, A. Lauenroth 7, S. Müller 4, A. Malestein 4, K. Kudlacz-Gloc 2, F. Woller 2, T. Wester 1
Penalties: 1/1 ; 3/3
Suspensions: 10 minutes ; 14 minutes