Bulgaria defended “IHF/EHF Women’s Challenge Trophy 2014”

Bulgaria successfully defended their “IHF/EHF WOMEN’S CHALLENGE TROPHY” title they won two years ago in Gabrovo, after beating Israel 34:23 at the 2014 edition of the tournament in Greek city of Larissa. The final was clearly a one-sided match, with Bulgaria dominating the game from the very first moment. Tournament’s MVP Elizabeth Omoregie (born in Bulgaria, by Nigerian father and Bulgarian mother) was the leading force in Bulgaria’s attack with ten goals over an Israeli squad that was obviously tired, following Saturday’s thriller against Greece.

For the record, Bulgaria started the match with a 5:0 run in the first eight minutes and by the 20th minute they increased the difference to eight goals (10:2). Israel never really recovered and had to settle with second place in the final ranking.


Shlomo Hoffman (Israel Coach): “Congratulations to Bulgaria, they were the best team of the tournament and they deserved to win the trophy. I wish them all the best in future tournaments. “I am at the helm of the coaching staff for the last six months. What we are missing as a team is more players who can stand on a higher level. At the moment I have only 7-8 first- choice players to my disposal and in a tournament with five matches in as many days, at some point fatigue will affect us. We need more tournaments, more friendly matches. Of course we feel happy with second place. “I would like to thank the organisers for their hospotality. It was a fantastic tournament”.

Rebecka Ezrahi (MVP Israel): “It was a very difficult game for us. We did the best we could do. We are not used in playing five games in five days. We started training as a team only six months ago and some players even joined us a couple of months ago.”


Rositsa Bakazhieva (Bulgaria Coach): “Our playing style was much diferrent than that of our opponents. We expected to win the trophy. All my girls are of a high caliber and the reserved players have nothing to be jealous of the starters. As a result we maintain an up- tempo for most of the game. “Unfortunately we do not receive any funding at all by the government and tournaments like these allow us to play internationally.

“Handball has been played in Bulgaria for the last 50 years, but the last three years there are no money available for our preparation, that’s why we didn’t play any international matches in the last twelve months. “The men’s team faced the same problems like us, but they won the Intercontinental trophy and received funding from the sporting authorities.”

Elizabeth Omoregie (Tournament MVP – Bulgaria): “I am very happy with what we achieved as a team today as well as for the individual prizes I won. We showed the handball world that Bulgaria can play good handball. Despite the poor preparation, caused by financial problems, Builgaria performed pretty well.”

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