210403 CSM CSKA 8
EHF Champions League

Flawless CSM hand CSKA painful loss

EHF / Adrian Costeiu

There is no right moment to record a hard defeat in the DELO EHF Champions League, but a tough loss in the first leg of the quarter-finals of the European premium competition is even harder to digest.

However, CSKA will have a mountain to climb next Sunday if they are to proceed to the first time to the DELO EHF FINAL 4, after their loss against CSM Bucuresti, 32:27, in the Match of the Week.

MOTW: CSM Bucuresti (ROU) vs CSKA (RUS) 32:27 (20:12)

  • powered by five saves from goalkeeper Jelena Grubisic and a pair of goals from right wing Laura Moisa and line player Crina Pintea, CSM jumped to an early 8:3 lead after 12 minutes
  • despite failing to register more than a goal in the first half, CSM’s left back Cristina Neagu dished six crucial assists, as the Romanian side opened an-eight goal gap at the break, 20:12
  • line player Dragana Cvijic and left wing Siraba Dembele Pavlovic, who was named the Player of the Match, scored four goals each in the first half
  • CSKA, led by three goals from right wing Sara Ristovka, cut the gap to only four goals at 28:24 after a 5:1 run that prompted CSM coach Adrian Vasile to take a time-out
  • the second leg will be played in Moscow on Sunday, 11 April, with CSKA needing a miraculous comeback to secure their first-ever DELO EHF FINAL 4 berth

Can comeback queens CSKA spring another surprise?

CSM look like big favourites to proceed to the DELO EHF FINAL4 for the fourth time in the five seasons the tournament has been held in Budapest. Yet they are used to making life hard for themselves. In this season’s play-offs, SCM Ramnicu Valcea clawed back six goals in the second leg after CSM won the first leg by nine.

CSKA made a late comeback in their play-offs against RK Krim Mercator, clinching their quarter-finals berth with a 27:21 win in Moscow after losing 25:20 in the first leg. The Russian club, debutants to the competition this year, have proven they can never be written off.

We had a “perfect” first half but in the second half they managed to have more saves and reduce the gap. It will be a big fight in Moscow next week and I am confident that we can qualify.
Adrian Vasile
Coach, CSM Bucuresti
It was a good game from our side but we were not so good in defence and especially defending the line player. In the second half our focus was to reduce the gap so that we could make the second-leg game easier.
Olga Akopian
Coach, CSKA

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