|04.11.2016, 19:40||◄ last page|
GROUP C REVIEW: Without Heidi Løke, who is taking a break from handball after announcing she is pregnant, Györ won their fourth consecutive game, against CSM, and are through to the Main Round
Györ through to Main Round after another comeback against CSM
When CSM left their home game against Györ empty-handed last week, after a collapse in the second half, the team from Romania said they learnt the lesson.
However, after leading again at half-time (13:11), they slumped to another big defeat (33:25) in Hungary on Friday night after scoring only three times in the last 12 minutes, leading to Györ’s fourth straight win in the group.
Györ knew a win against the title holders would make them the first team through to the Women’s EHF Champions League this season.
However, while Györ have become a main favorite to win the competition for the third time, it was an announcement made one hour before the game that changed everything.
“World class line player Heidi Løke announced that she is pregnant. She will not play anymore this season,” was the message posted on Györ’s website.
45% save percentage for CSM in the first half
The question was: How would Györ cope without their star, who scored 15 goals in the first three matches and was an integrant piece in defence.
For the first 10 minutes, the hosts looked clueless in attack and vulnerable in defence, scoring only one goal.
The side from Romania were set to avenge their tough loss in last week’s game and were cruising to a 7:5 lead after 20 minutes, after Paula Ungureanu saved seven shots.
However, a well-taken time-out by Györ’s coach, Ambros Martin, calmed down his side and spurred a 3:0 partial for Györ, which took the lead, 8:7.
But CSM impressed in the last minutes of the first half. Thanks to a powerful defence, an amazing 45 saves percentage for the goalkeepers and inspiration in attack, the Romanian side still had a 13:11 lead at half-time, as Gnonsiane Niombla scored four goals for the guests.
Two goals in 14 minutes for CSM
But Györ did not forget that they won last week in Bucharest after CSM led by four goals at half-time, and they applied the same principle on Friday night.
The Romanian defence collapsed again, receiving eight goals in the first nine minutes of the second half as Györ were leading 19:17 after 40 minutes.
With three penalty shots missed by CSM and four clear-cut chances when Eva Kiss stopped Lobach, Manea and Martin, the guests were left empty-handed.
Györ marched on to their fourth consecutive win in the group, 33:25.
It was the worst-ever defeat for CSM in the European top competition, surpassing their 28:22 defeats at the hands of Györ and Buducnost last season.
The Hungarian side has all but secured top spot in the group, while CSM Bucuresti will face Rostov-Don next week in what will be a determining game for the defending champions.
TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / ew