Out of power in Norway

Unfortunately, the Krim Mercator players were not able to overcome the spell of the Aquarama Kristiansand arena once again. Despite a great fight and a game without Barbara Lazović and Jovanka Radičević, the rivals were stronger with the final score 29:23.

It started worryingly. The Vipers Kristiansand quickly took the lead… by six goals. But the lead didn’t last as long as the hosts had planned. The Tigresses came back to life with a more determined defensive performance. In the 15th minute, Tatjana Brnović intercepted a ball from her rivals and gave her team the first chance to equalise. It didn’t work out. But it came later. At the end of the 17th minute, Brnović levelled the score at 9:9 and Daria Dmitrieva scored for the first lead of the match for Adžić’s team.

At the end of the first half, the Ljubljana team eased up a bit, but not enough to give the Norwegians a significant advantage. Tamara Mavsar scored an outstanding goal to seal the first half, and Barbara Arenhart added the icing on the cake with more fantastic defence. The Brazilian goalkeeper of Krim Mercator made nine saves in 30 minutes.

The second half of the game started the same way as the first – with Tamara Mavsar scoring from the seven-metre line. Just a few moments later, Aleksandra Rosiak was booked for her second sending-off of the game, but Arenhart continued to shine in goal. She also fended off a very harsh penalty from Anna Vyakhireva, among others.

The next European match will take place on Saturday 20 January at 18:00. The Tigresses will play against FTC in Budapest.

The two-minute penalty slowed down the Ljubljana train a bit. The Vipers managed to run away again to a four-goal lead, which the Ljubljana team could not erase.

Mavsar scored six goals for Krim Mercator and Dmitrieva, who was also named Krim’s Player of the Match, scored 7.

Dragan Adžić, head coach of Krim Mercator: »We would have needed more to win against the European champions. Our training process was not 100% in the last few days and we were missing two important players. Vipers were better, but we learned something. Now we are already looking towards the next challenge, Saturday’s showdown against FTC.«

Barbara Arenhart, goalkeeper of Krim Mercator: »We started badly, but we fought bravely on. In the second half we ran out of steam, which I think decided the game. Viper had the better defence. Nevertheless, we remain in a good position and our chances to do even better remain open.«

Vipers (NOR) : Krim Mercator 29:23 (14:12)
EHF Champions League 2023/24 (Round 10); 13 January 2024 (18.00); Kristiansand (Norway)

Referees: Cristina Lovin, Simona Raluca Stancu (Romania); delegate: Päivi Mitrunen (Finland)
Vipers Kristiansand: Börjesson, Sercien-Ugolin, Roberts 7, Jonassen, Waade, Vyakhireva 7, Hove, Lunde, Hesselberg 1, Tchaptchet Defo 1, Arcos Poveda 2, Tomac, Abbingh 4, Naes Andersen 3, Schulze, Knedlikova 4.
Krim Mercator: Jurič, Stanko 1, Pineau, Mavsar 6, Spreitzer, Dmitrieva 7, Arenhart, Klemenčič 1, Vojnovič, Erceg, Varagić 1, Ngombele, Brnović 4, Rosiak, Abina, Grbić 3.
7-meters: Vipers Kristiansand 7 (6), Krim Mercator 6 (4).
2 minutes: Vipers Kristiansand 4 min, Krim Mercator 8 min.

PHOTO: Terje Refsnes / Vipers Kristiansand