GROUP C PREVIEW: Györ are looking to avenge their defeat in last year’s final against CSM, with the Romanian side coming in after a disappointing loss against FCM
CSM and Györ face off with last season’s final in mind
The exciting finish to last year’s Women’s EHF FINAL 4 in Budapest is still fresh in CSM and Györ’s memory, as the two powerhouses will clash again, this time in the group matches of the competition.
While the Hungarian champions have won both games, against FC Midtjylland and Rostov-Don, CSM stumbled in Denmark, after an off-night, as the title holders are looking increasingly under pressure.
CSM won last year’s title after a dramatic final, which needed penalties to decide the winner
Rostov are the only team without a win in the group after two games, and will face an in-form FCM, who is welcoming several players back after injuries
Ambros Martin, Györ’s coach has been also named the Romanian women’s national team coach replacing Tomas Ryde
CSM Bucuresti (ROU) vs Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN)
Friday, 28 October, 18:00 hrs local time, live on ehfTV.com
The champagne that soaked the Women’s EHF Champions League trophy did not even had the time to dry up, as the last season’s finallists will meet again -- this time in Bucharest.
Neither CSM, nor Györ expected to meet so early in the competition, but CSM’s right back Line Jørgensen (now our injured) was the responsible for the draw that had the teams face off in the group matches.
The Romanian side took Györ by surprise in May, but it was Györ who had the upper hand in the Main Round, when the Hungarian powerhouse earned two impressive win against their rivals.
It is Györ, indeed, who are looking to have the upper hand against CSM again, with the Romanian side disappointing in their previous game, against FC Midtjylland, after a 24:21 loss.
“We need time to play as a team, because there are a few new players that need to be integrated in the team. I think we are a very good team and we need to keep our heads up, because there is no time to worry.”
“Györ are coming to take the two points and I hope to improve on Friday. We need this win and we need to play better,” said Linnea Torstensson, CSM’s defensive lynchpin.
Paradoxically, CSM had five new signings after winning the Women’s EHF Champions League last season, while Györ only made two, the most important of which being Nora Mørk. The Norwegian talented right back made an instant impact, scoring 15 goals in her first two games in the top European competition.
But the game’s most interesting subplot will have the focus on Ambros Martin. The Spanish coach, who has been on Györ’s bench for the last four seasons, accepted to be Romania’s women’s national team coach in September, a move that did not go well with the Hungarian fans.
Martin will face two of his players in Bucurest, Paula Ungureanu and Oana Manea, incidentally one of the most experienced players both in the Romanian national team and in CSM.
Both teams enjoyed straightforward wins on Tuesday, as Györ won 40:20 against Budaors, while CSM powered past HCM Ramnicu Valcea, 32:21.
Rostov-Don (RUS) vs FC Midtjylland (DEN)
Saturday, 29 October, 19:00 hrs local time, live on ehfTV.com
The start of the season has not fulfilled Rostov’s huge expectations, as the Russian team was topping the ehfCL.com power rankings before the first throw-off.
Jan Leslie’s side has shown flashes of brilliance both against CSM Bucuresti and Györ, but ultimately lacked the consistency needed and is the only team in the group without a point.
Therefore, the room for error is slim to none and the Russian powerhouse will have to take advantage of all their chances if they are to qualify for the knockout phase for the second year in a row.
“There was a difference between our defeats against CSM and Györ, as we increased our quality in the second game. It was a big step forward for us.”
“Now we have to win against Midtjylland, there is no doubt about that. We looked at last year’s finallists as the team to beat, but now it looks like FCM is also an important opponent,” said Iuliia Managarova, Rostov’s right wing to the club’s official website.
The Danish side was crushed by Györ in the first game, 31:19, but things are looking on the up, after Stine Jörgensen and Louise Burgaard made their comebacks in the game against CSM.
The two backs combined for five goals in the game against the titleholders, while Eliza Buceschi, another player who was not fully fit contributed with three goals.
“The win against CSM could be a start of something special for us. It was a key game for us, because if we lost our second game, our chances would have been slim to none.”
“This result gave us power and the courage to fight again, so we need to be at our best against Rostov,” said Burgaard.
TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / bc