The Romanian women's handball side
Gloria Bistrita Nasaud have reached the quarterfinals of the EHF Cup. To do so,
they defeated the Hungarian side ERD in a dramatic match away on Sunday. Before
this match, Gloria were second in Group C, one point ahead of ERD, who were on
third, and needed at least a draw to advance to the next round.
The match was balanced. In the first
half, Gloria were two goals ahead on two occasions, at 7-5 and 8-6. The
Hungarian side equalised each time, so it was 12-all at half time. The Romanian
side were ahead for most part of the second half, but the end of the match was
really tough. 29 minutes into the second half, Gloria were ahead 23-21, thanks
to a goal scored by Valentina Ardean-Elisei. But then ERD scored three times,
the third just 16 seconds before the end of the match. With four seconds to go
before the end, Gloria were awarded a 9-metre throw. After a few passes, the
ball reached Valentina Ardean-Elisei, who dribbled the defence of the Hungarian
side and scored the goal that sent her team into the quarterfinals of the EHF
Cup. For her contribution to this achievement, Radio Romania International has
designated her the Athlete of the Week.
Valentina Ardean-Elisei was born on
the 5th of June 1982 in Focsani, a small town in south-eastern
Romania. Her first big achievement in international handball was in 2002, when
her side at the time Universitatea REMIN Deva won the Challenge Cup European
trophy. Between 2004 and 2006 she played in Serbia for Knjaz Milos. She then
transferred to the Romanian side Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea, winning the Cups' Cup
in 2007 and playing the Champions League final in 2010. When Oltchim was
dismantled she signed with Cetate Deva. In 2014, Elisei joined HCM Baia Mare,
reaching the Champions League quarterfinals. Her team then went through a
serious financial crisis, being unable to pay its players and Elisei ended up
with Sport Club Municipal Craiova, where she played until 2018. Since then she
has been playing for Gloria Bistrita Nasaud.
Elisei was first capped for the
national side in 1999. She was in the team who won the silver medal at the
2005 World Championships hosted by Russia and the bronze medal at the 2010 European Championships hosted by Denmark and Norway.