“It maybe the toughest quarter final there is”
April 14, 2023
von Sascha Staat
Goalkeeper Evelina Eriksson has seen a lot in handball as a two-time EHF Champions League winner with Vipers Kristiansand, yet she’s eager to win more with the national team and her club
After the loss against Denmark on Tuesday night at Copenhagen’s Royal Arena, the Swedish international not only talked about the game, but the upcoming quarterfinals in the EHF Champions League as well.
You lost by two goals in the end, but it looked like an even game for most of the time?
EE: Yes, I think so, too. The second half was a low-scoring match. Actually, we lost the game in the first half. There have been plenty of shots from the 6-meter range and it was tough to pick it up against Denmark in the second half.
That’s strange as you started quite well.
EE: Yes. I don’t know what happened, but we received several two-minute penalties and then it gets hard. It’s a lot of space to defend – too much sometimes.
It was my impression, that Denmark was a little bit nervous in the beginning of the match. Do you share this sentiment?
EE: Yes, I think they felt some pressure. They wanted to win, of course and they wanted to take revenge (Denmark lost a few days earlier 34:30 against Sweden ed.). And, they did.
What do these two most recent games tell us? Where do you stand?
EE: Overall I think we’re on a good way, on a good path. We, of course, have some things to work on, which is OK. We’re looking forward to the championship at home.
Let’s talk about the upcoming EHF Champions League quarterfinals – what’s on your mind with regards to the last round before the FINAL4 in Budapest?
EE: For me, of course, it’s good that some of the Danish players who were in the lineup tonight play for Esbjerg. Of course, I have all of it on my mind and it’s good to be able to watch these players for some additional time. I’m looking forward to our (CSM Bucarest ed.) Champions League match. It’ll be tough – maybe the toughest quarter final there is, but we’re excited.
What does it make so difficult?
EE: I think it’s the most recent history between the two clubs – CSM lost by one goal, last season. Even though I was not there, I can feel it when we talk about them, when we look at them, there’s a sense of revenge in the air. They may have the strongest back-court overall with Breistol, Reistad and Mork. We need to watch out.
I have to say, it has been going quite well for you at CSM Bucarest thus far. You joined last summer and expectations rose as the club has a very good roster. What’s your impression? Why will it be working out this time?
EE: I think we had a tough month right after the European championship, and we needed to stick together. I believe that was the most important thing. We knew that we had some tough games ahead and we needed every player, every skill that we have in the group and just fight together. Now, I think it’s the hunger in the team and that we’ll be using every player the right way.
Obviously the pressure in Kristiansand, your former team, has been different from the one you are experiencing at CSM. And, the fans are quite emotional. How does it compare?
EE: As you said, the spectators and everything else is different – very different. But, it’s similar in one way as well. There are high expectations all around, of course, but they all want the best for us and as a team we try to give back.