GROUP C PREVIEW: Györ would like to extend their winning run to four games, while CSM are fighting for their lives in a tougher than expected group for the current title holders
CSM looking for payback against Györ
Last week in Bucharest, Györ found themselves pressed in a corner by CSM, but an amazing comeback by the Hungarian powerhouse left the defending champions with no answer, as Ambros Martin’s side won by a three-goal difference, 27:24.
The Romanian side will be looking at FC Midtjylland – Rostov-Don clash, but they only have themselves to blame for their woes, after they led, but lost both against FCM and Györ
• CSM lost both their games in the main round phase last season against Györ, but managed to win in the final act of the Women’s EHF Champions League, after a dramatic penalty shootout
• Rostov are 21 goals shy of the 500th goal in their history in the European top flight
• A win against Rostov would be the 40th for FCM in the Champions League, as the Danish side would leapfrog Dinamo-Sinara in the top wins ranking
Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN) vs CSM Bucuresti (ROU)
Friday, 4 November, 19:00 hrs local time, live on ehfTV.com
A three-game consecutive skid for CSM Bucuresti would be surely unacceptable for the current title holders.
But the Romanian side is in a difficult position, losing two games in a row against FCM and Györ, with CSM throwing away a five-goal lead against the Hungarian powerhouse.
Any mistake could be costly for the current title holders, as they are currently tied on the second place, with two points, with Rostov and FCM.
“Of course we were disappointed that we lost against Györ on our home court. But I think the Romanian sides have always played good in Hungary, were especially motivated against Györ and we also have our chance.”
“I have a feeling that we are able to win in Györ, it is my wish to win there, maybe that is why I think we can do a good result,” said Paula Ungureanu, CSM’s goalkeeper, who had 11 saves in last week’s game.
However, CSM’s attack has become increasingly predictable, after right back Line Jørgensen’s shoulder injury, with French duo Gnonsiane Niombla and Camille Ayglon failing to have the same impact.
With the third best defence and the second best attack in the competition, Györ are, alongside Buducnost, the only team with a 100% record after three games in the Women’s EHF Champions League group stage and are looking to preserve that status.
Last year’s finalists have shown both talent and grit, completing amazing comebacks in the second half against Rostov-Don and CSM.
Györ will look again for goals from Heidi Loke and Nora Mørk, after the Norwegian connection worked out brilliantly in the away leg, with wings Bernadett Bodi and Dorina Korsos exposing CSM’s woes in defence on the wings.
The Romanian side had a winning start of the week, after a 43:23 thumping of Magura Cisnadie in the local league, while Györ had enjoyed a bye week in the Hungarian Cup.
FC Midtjylland (DEN) vs Rostov-Don (RUS)
Sunday, 6 November, 16:15 hrs local time, live on ehfTV.com
For at least 30 minutes, FC Midtjylland looked like they could shock Rostov-Don, like they did against CSM Bucuresti one week earlier.
However, a more balanced roster was the Russian team’s main advantage, as the hosts managed to find their way in the second half and enjoy a 26:20 win against Midtjylland.
“I am happy that we won the first game against Midtjylland, but I know we will not have it easy in Denmark.”
“They won at home against CSM, a huge result for them, that improved their hopes in the group,” said Rostov’s coach, Jan Leslie.
The Russian side has a positive goal difference, +2, after two defeats in their first three matches, but do not boast neither an impressive attack, nor an impenetrable defence.
But Rostov are on the up after enjoying their first win of the season and are trying to ensure their place in the main round phase, as their goal difference suggests close losses, that could have easily been turned into wins.
“Of course Rostov is better individually, but that does not mean that they are better as a team.”
“We are always trying to win, but I think we let ourselves down in the second half, reducing the tempo. We need to correct that issue,” commented Kristian Kristensen, FCM’s coach.
The Danish side is slowly welcoming back Stine Jørgensen, Eliza Buceschi and Louise Burgaard after injuries, with an impressive win, 32:23 against København Håndbold, a win that saw FCM earn a berth for the Danish Cup final four.
TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / br