The Borussia Dortmund women will make the approximately 1,500km journey home from Montenegro with two points in the bag: the handballers battled their way to a 34-29 (18-15) victory over Montenegrin side Buducnost on Matchday 2 of the EHF Champions League and now have three points on the board from their two matches.
BVB coach André Fuhr was understandably satisfied with his team's display at the final whistle: "Winning away in the Champions League is always something rather special. We're very happy that we already have three points on the board. We had a lot of absentees; the players dealt with that outstandingly as a team."
The Black & Yellows, who travelled with only 12 players to face Buducnost, made a slightly nervy start. Their first goal of the evening was scored by Dana Bleckmann, before Laura van der Heijden later levelled the scores at 2-2. Both sets of attackers were in clinical form in front of goal in the opening stages. BVB went a player down around the 10-minute mark after Alina Grijseels was hit with a time penalty, but van der Heijden still managed to restore parity at 6-6. Both sets of defenders then began to look more settled and had a much better hold on the opposing offence. "We played with a 5-1 defence and wanted to catch the opponent by surprise, which we managed," Fuhr explained.
BVB took the lead for the first time around the quarter-hour mark, with Grijseels making it 7-6. Dortmund's number 4 proved herself to be unstoppable for the Buducnost defence and was wrestled to the ground by Nina Bulatovic – the outcome was a two-minute penalty and a two-player advantage for Dortmund. The fouled playmaker converted the ensuing seven-metre throw herself and then assisted Jacky Moreno to make it 10-7 to Borussia. Moreno then scored a spectacular lob in the 25th minute as BVB went 15-12 ahead. They preserved that three-goal cushion until half-time, when the score stood at 18-15.
The second half started highly promisingly too, with Fatos Kücükyildiz scoring from a standing shot. A loud "Jaaa" from ten Holte later rang around the court after she saved a penalty from Ivana Mitrovic. Dortmund remained well in the game, without ever pulling decisively away. The score stood at 22-20 by the 40-minute mark, with the Black & Yellows maintaining their narrow lead. All in all, it was Fuhr's team who produced the more mature performance at this point: more focused in defence, more purposeful in attack.
After Moreno rounded off a lovely move to put her side 27-23 ahead, the hosts called for a time-out as they hunted for a way to stop the game getting beyond them. A strong save and a powerful throw from Freriks shortly afterwards saw the Black & Yellows take a six-goal lead with seven minutes remaining: 30-24. The contest was all-but over by that point, with the Montenegrins unable to sufficiently reduce the deficit, and BVB came away with a deserved away victory.
BVB: ten Holte, Kohorst; Bleckmann (4/1), van der Heijden (6/1), Grijseels (11/4), Freriks (3), Kücükyildiz (2), Abdulla (2), Berger, Rønning (1), Sando, Moreno (5)