Odense tilt balance their way with big win over Storhamar
Boasting more experience, better depth and an excellent attack, Odense Håndbold delivered a good performance in the first leg of the play-offs, sealing a 30:22 win over rookies, Storhamar Handball Elite.
PLAY-OFFS, FIRST LEG
Storhamar Handball Elite (NOR) vs Odense Håndbold (DEN) 22:30 (13:16)
- two mirroring 5:0 runs to start each half were enough for Odense to create a path for the win as they delivered an excellent performance to take a commanding lead in the doubleheader against Storhamar
- goalkeeper Martina Thörn was nothing short of outstanding for Odense, starting the game with four saves from the first seven shots she faced; she ended up with 17 saves for a 46% saving efficiency
- Storhamar’s attack was their undoing, with an efficiency of 29%, marred by misses and 12 turnovers, they tied their lowest number of goals scored in the European premium competition, set previously in their match against Györ
- this was the largest-ever knockout win for Odense in the European premium competition as their previous two, against Vipers Kristiansand and Brest Bretagne Handball were by a single goal
- Odense have not lost a doubleheader in any European competition when they have won the away match; They now have a clear path for tying their best-ever result in the EHF Champions League Women, the quarter-finals achieved in their debut season, 2018/19
Odense are in the clear to be back amongst the best eight teams
Odense Håndbold were the clear favourites to progress to the quarter-finals matchup, since they have more experience and because they ended their group in third place, behind Vipers Kristiansand and CSM Bucuresti.
They duly delivered on the promise, with a strong outing, provided by some good teamwork, which saw all their field players except one scoring at least one goal, as Storhamar’s defence was overwhelmed at times throughout the match.
But, it was goalkeeper, Martina Thörn who really shined, with her 16 saves. Thörn, substituting for Althea Reinhardt, had previously saved only 69 shots in the first 14 matches this season, making her performance even more impressive.
Their goalkeeper, Thörn, played fantastic in the beginning of the match, but I am proud of the way we fought back. In the end the mistakes we made were too many and we gave away the chance to make the match even.
We had a lot of respect for Storhamar because of their strong defense and strong counter attack, but in the second half we managed to break free and get the easy goals.