|15.04.2017, 19:01||◄ last page|
QUARTER-FINAL REVIEW: CSM Bucuresti beat Ferencváros in Budapest to reach the TIPPMIX EHF FINAL4 as the defending champions controlled the second leg from start to finish.
Title holders back in Budapest as CSM prove too strong for FTC
Defending champions CSM Bucuresti are in the TIPPMIX EHF FINAL4 after they beat Ferencváros in the second leg of their quarter-final clash. The title holders' fve-goal advantage was never really in danger as Paula Ungureanu finished off the home side's hopes in the second half.
QUARTER-FINAL, SECOND LEG
FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) vs CSM Bucuresti (ROM) 26:27 (15:14)
FTC were positive they could turn the tides against CSM who brought a five-goal advantage to Budapest with their skipper Zita Szucsanszki recovered from her shoulder injury.
Another good news for the home side was that Blanka Biro started brightly in goal, yet the Bucharest team got the better of FTC in the first period of the Women's EHF Champions League Quarter-final. The heroes from the first match, Carmen Martin and Bella Gulldén, kept the visitors ahead for most of the first half and the TIPPMIX EHF FINAL4 seemed very far for Ferencváros.
FTC gain momentum
A time-out from Gabor Elek did the job and the home side gathered momentum to re-take the lead. Goalkeeper Blanka Biro came up with vital saves and Marija Jovanovic finally started to find the back of the net from nine metres.
Ferencváros finished the first half with a one-goal lead but after finishing the first leg five goals down, they knew they needed a six-goal victory to advance.
The visitors sent in another key figure of the first leg, Paula Ungureanu, for the second half and the veteran goalkeeper pulled off some important saves. The defending champions comfortably kept their aggregate advantage as Ferencváros were desperately fighting for the lead.
Wingers Nadine Schatzl and Viktoria Lukacs were the main sources of goals for the home team as FTC struggled from nine metres. Ungureanu continued to frustrate Jovanovic and when the visitors took the lead tempers flared and the match was stopped for several minutes until order was restored.
The clock was ticking and Ferencváros were forced to rush, which resulted in bad decisions and inaccurate shots for which Bianca Bazaliu and Gnonsiane Niombla punished the Hungarian team. Upon entering the last 10 minutes Schatzl equalized but by that time the FINAL4 was firmly in the visitors' grasp.
The last minutes offered no thriller this time as CSM cruised in to win by a one-goal margin, 57:51 on aggregate, and make it to the TIPPMIX EHF FINAL4 for the second time in a row.
Grace in defeat
Szucsanszki was in tears after the final whistle.
“Let me thank our wonderful fans for the atmosphere they provided. It is great to be part of this team,” said the captain, who admitted to have been in a lot of pain but still stepped up to play.
“Every time we had a chance to get closer to CSM we made silly mistakes. I am proud of my team-mates despite the defeat,” added Ferencváros goalkeeper Bír0.
“They were better, I must admit. We missed too many shots and could not make them nervous. It was a fantastic season for us, we were unlucky to finish second in our group and still had to face such a strong opponent but that's life,” concluded FTC back Nerea Pena.
CSM coach Per Johansson said: "There wasn’t a big difference between the two teams, stepping forward into the FINAL4 is mainly thanks to the luck we had in the last five minutes of the first match."
TEXT: Bence Martha / jh