|07.05.2017, 09:30||◄ last page|
3/4 PLACEMENT MATCH: Having lost the semi-finals title holders CSM Bucuresti and Buducnost can be disappointed but there is still a lot left to fight for.
Third-place match is about more than bronze medals
CSM Bucuresti will not play to defend their title as they lost the semi-final against Vardar but just like Buducnost they still have things to play for. Just like the final, the third-place match could be decided by goalkeepers.
TIPPMIX EHF FINAL4, third-place match
After troubled seasons Buducnost and CSM Bucuresti did well to reach the FINAL4, yet neither of them really had a chance to advance to the final against Györ and Vardar respectively. Some claim third-place matches are clashes of the disappointed but this time both teams have a lot to play for.
Buducnost’s outbound stars are determined to leave the Montenegrin club on a high note, not to mention that both Katarina Bulatovic and Cristina Neagu are fighting for the top scorer’s crown albeit the Romanian left back is trailing Andrea Penezic by seven goals while Bulatovic is behind the Croatian shooter by nine.
"I don't know what happened to us. We were so nervous. Maybe there were too much emotion because we will not play again in this squad. You could see it is not Buducnost. I don't know what to say. To fix these problems will be very hard. We want to finish our season with the best result. We didn't succed against Györ, so on Sunday we will fight for the third place," Bulatovic said.
CSM cannot afford to take a match in the FINAL4 any less seriously than a final, their position as title holders and their huge travelling fanbase demand a strong performance from CSM players in the third-place game, too.
Goalkeepers must improve
Just like in the final goalkeeping performances will be crucial and there is room to improve on both sides as neither Zoqbi de Paula, nor Paula Ungureanu and Jelena Grubisic had particularly good games in the semi-finals.
Buducnost can rely on their massive defence even without an outstanding performance of a goalkeeper but CSM will have to pull their defensive act together as in the semi-final they conceded the most goals any team has ever conceded in the FINAL4.
The defending champion and the two-time Champions League winner have met twice in the competition, in 2015 CSM snatched a point from Podgorica but the Montenegrin side won the reverse fixture in Bucharest. The Montenegrin winger Majda Mehmedovic, who switched to the defending champions in the summer, will once again play in the bronze medal game, this time against a team where she spent previous eight seasons.
TEXT: Bence Mártha / br