Györ return to winning ways, FTC complete comeback against Krim
A week after dropping their first point this Women's EHF Champions League season, defending champions Györi Audi ETO KC ended the four-match winning streak of Vipers Kristiansand, 33:29.
Also on Saturday, RK Krim Mercator took a six-goal lead in the first 15 minutes of the game, but FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria improved their defence and goalkeeping to come back and earn a crucial win, 25:23.
Hansen (eight goals) and Brattset (seven from seven attempts) led Györ to victory
Former Györ player Linn-Jorum Sulland scored eight times for Vipers
FTC still have two home games in the main round, facing THC and Krim
Krim must win their last three games to stand a chance of progressing to the next phase
19-year old right back Katrin Klujber was FTC’s best scorer, with nine goals
Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN) vs Vipers Kristiansand (NOR) 33:29 (19:14)
Last week’s 32:32 draw against FTC suggested that Györ were vulnerable, but the title holder’s mission was once again to prove they are the team to beat.
They did just so against a red-hot Vipers side, who were coming into Györ riding a four-game winning streak.
The Norwegian side, however, never looked able to stage an upset against the defending champions, as the Hungarian powerhouse jumped right in and never looked back.
With a superb Anne Mette Hansen and Anita Görbicz deputising on the left wing, the hosts took a commanding 15:8 lead, as Vipers stumbled in attack to rather unconvincing performance.
The Norwegian side altered their play in the second half, with former Györ player Linn Jorum Sulland singlehandedly helping her side back in contention with eight goals.
Yet, it was too little, too late. Györ rode their advantage from the first half until the end, taking their eight win in nine games, 33:29.
The Hungarian side made another step to secure the first place in the group, opening a five-point gap at the top, while Vipers could be overtaken by CSM if the Romanian side win tomorrow.
RK Krim Mercator (SLO) vs FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) 23:25 (10:10)
It was a crucial game for Krim, as a loss against FTC would have tipped the scales regarding a quarter-final berth even more in the Hungarian team’s favour.
Yet FTC, who are one of the in-form sides in the main round after a win against Thüringer HC and a draw against Györ, had one of their worst starts recently.
The free-flowing Hungarian offense got to an abrupt stop as Krim’s defence was flawless, forcing their opponents to miss their first five shots of the game. It left FTC with a mountain to climb, being 5:1 down after eight minutes.
Firing from all cylinders in attack, the Slovenian side built upon their great start, as their backs Tjasa Stanko and Marie-Paule Gnabouyou were superb in attack, helping Krim build a 9:3 lead after 18 minutes.
However, a 5:0 run from FTC, inspired by another Nerea Pena vintage outing with three unanswered goals, helped the Hungarian side back into the game, cutting the lead to only one goal, 9:8.
After a pair of saves from goalkeeper Blanka Biro, the Hungarian side managed to tie the game for the first time (10:10) as Krim scored only one goal in the last 13 minutes before the break.
But the pivotal moment of the game was the 5:2 run to start the second half for FTC. With an unstoppable Noemi Hafra, the Hungarian side jumped to a 15:12 lead that proved to be unassailable.
As 20-year old Hafra and 19-year old Katrin Klujber ran riot in Krim’s defence, FTC looked to extend their unbeaten streak to three games. A flurry of superb saves from goalkeeper Blanka Biro also helped, as the Hungarian side took another important win, 25:23.
“We started match in a very bad way and we needed a lot of energy to come back,” FTC coach Gabor Elek said. “In the second half it was clear that our game was based on our goalkeeper’s high-level performance.”
The win helps FTC open a four-point gap between them and Krim, with the Slovenian side forced to win the next three games if they are to proceed in the quarter-final phase.
“We had problems in our attack,” Krim coach Uros Bregar said. “Today is the first time since 17 November that the team is complete. We pay the price for not training. Luck was on their side, and we have seen some unnecessary goals.”