The opening day of the Women’s EHF Champions League halfway mark produced two telling shocks as Savehof romped to an emphatic win at Leipzig and top flight newcommers Baia Mare overpowered Hypo 24-23 (8-12)
Not only did the Romanian side celebrate their first win at this stage of Europe’s flagship club competition, but they achieved it against one of the continent’s most heralded sides.
Trailing by four goals at half-time to the four-time winners, Baia Mare blew away Hypo in the second half and delighted over 2,000 local fans as they gave themselves a fighting chance to challenge for a berth in the main round.
A gritty performance in the second period saw Baia Mare reduce the deficit to just one goal (13:12) before another storming run saw them carry a two-goal advantage (20:18) into a dramatic last 10 minutes.
Both teams gave as good as they got in a heart-stopping finale and it was Aneta Pirvut who grabbed the winner with just a few seconds remaining, sending the boisterous home fans into raptures. “It doesn’t matter that I scored the winning goal, it could have been any other girl. Every single player from HCM tried really hard today and we are very happy that we have won today,” said Pirvut after the final whistle.
Having eight different scorers was the key to victory for the home side, whose right wing Adriana Nechita led the way with six goals. Pivot Timea Tatar added five, Melinda Geiger netted four and Renata Ghionea chipped in with three goals for Baia Mare. Hypo, on the other hand, could rely on the prolific trio of Alexandra Do Nascimento, Gorica Acimovic and Fernanda Franca da Silva to combine for 18 of their goals, as each of them rifled in six.