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March 27, 2023

Women Handball: Oltchim in the CL finals for the first time

The joy was incredible, the players danced on the field, celebrated with fans and VIP’s on the tribune and couldn’t really imagine what they had achieved: For the first time in club’s history Oltchim Valcea has reached the finals of the Women’s Champions League. In the middle of May the Romanians will play Danish champion Viborg HK for this season’s title. After Viborg had defeated Larvik in aggregate, Valcea secured the qualification for the finals thanks to a 24:20 (12:10) against last season’s finalist Audi ETO Györ on Sunday. After a draw in the first leg in Hungary, Valcea decided the semifinals in the second half of the re match on Sunday evening on home soil.

The first half of the second leg of the semi in Valcea was quite equal, even as Györ surprised the Romanians with an early lead. But as Valcea then scored four consecutive goals to 4:2 the Arena went crazy for the first time. But Valcea couldn’t increase the distance until the break. Right at the start of the second half Györ had their best period and after the 13:13 it seemed the Hungarians could turn the game, as Valcea was weak in offense currently. But this stage didn’t last too long: The Romanians came back stronger than before and the number of Györ mistakes in offense arose, as the Oltchim defense stood strong. Thanks to again five consecutive goals Valcea went away to 18:13 – a pre decision in minute 48 of a very tough match. And Györ couldn’t come closer, as they missed too many chances. Latest the game was decided in minute 57, as Nechita scored the 22:17. Top scorers for Valcea were Nechita with eight goals and Neagu with five goals, Görbicz scored six times for Györ. Radu Voina, coach of Valcea said after the match, quoted by ehfcl.com: „We had very hard days before this match, because spectators and media put pressure on our team. But we stood this test. Everything coming now will be a bonus for us.”

Steluta Luca, player of Valcea said: “We feared our opponents, but in the second half we played dominant. Now we’ll have the great chance to touch this Champions League trophy. For all of us it’s the first time in our career. We have the chance to write history.”

Cristina Neagu, player Valcea: “We were excited and nervous before the match, but in the end we deserved the victory and the final.“

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