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06.03.2011, 19:50
Away victories on Sunday
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Győri Audi ETO´s win in Leipzig gives them a semi-final spot, while Itxako beat a disappointing Oltchim.
 

Away victories on Sunday

Group 1

Oltchim Rm. Vâlcea (ROU) vs. Itxako Reyno De Navarra (ESP) 22:25 (12:11)

After a real thriller, the enthusiastic Spaniards celebrated their third consecutive EHF Champions League victory, and with a home win next weekend, the dream of a semi-final place might become reality.

Oltchim’s Danish coach Anja Andersen mixed up her team in their dress rehearsal on Thursday, using several players in unusual positions.

This time Andersen came up with another different line-up, leaving line player Ionala Stanca out of the squad and surprisingly adding Adriana Nechita at the left wing position.

The latter scored some spectacular goals in the first half, but it was Ambros Martín’s Itxako that made the better start, not the home side.

After the first round defeat against Krim, the Spaniards have improved their game play from round to round and were highly motivated to surprise the Romanians.

They succeeded as they started with an open and aggressive defence, causing several problems for the Oltchim attacks.

Yeliz Özel, who celebrated her birthday today, was well-marked by the Spanish players and wasn’t able to contribute that well to the home attacks.

Itxako acted in a very mature and confident manner during the whole 60 minutes and the Spanish team wasn’t at all perturbed that Oltchim led at half-time by one goal.

Tactically well-prepared, they continued their game plan and with the unstoppable Begoña Fernández, the top goal scorer of the match with 7 goals, Martín’s team turned the game.

In the second half the teams remained for a long period on level terms, and a highly interesting and entertaining match developed, with the lead changing hands several times.

With the addition of Macarena Aguilar, Itxako got fresh wind and within a few minutes the Spaniards punished every Oltchim mistake to increase their lead to four goals.

Andersen didn’t have the possibility of another time out, so the Romanians looked shocked, acted without ideas, and weren’t able to reduce the gap and turn the game.

A big Spanish fiesta started after the final whistle, as, with this important away victory, Itxako moves one step nearer to the biggest success of the club, reaching the Top 4 of the EHF Champions League.

Oltchim and their coach Andersen have suffered their second defeat in four rounds and now the Romanians will need an away victory next weekend against Budućnost to remain in the race for a semi-final spot.

Group 2

HC Leipzig (GER) vs. Audi ETO Győr (HUN) 24:29 (10:16)

Hungary’s Audi ETO defeated the home team of HC Leipzig in an impressive manner and marched into the semi-final with maximum points. There, they will be joined by the Norwegian champions Larvik.

After the reported flu problems in the German camp it was supposed to become a cat and mouse game with Győr being the favourite for the victory.

Despite that, Heine Jensen’s team showed typical German fighting spirit, and had some nice phases in the match, but the Hungarian club had a very little fluctuation in its game, so the result was never in question.

Audi ETO won their ninth consecutive game in this year’s EHF Champions League campaign to remain the only unbeaten team in the Main Round.

After her late 2010 injury, playmaker Anita Görbicz, with several assists and 12 goals, underlined why she belongs among the world’s best players.

The queen of Hungarian handball was a joy to watch in today’s game. Her assists, unexpected shots and extraordinary 7-meter penalties confused both the Leipzig defence and German national goalkeeper Katja Schülke.

On the other side, Karolina Kudlacz returned to the handball field after a two-week break, spent in bed with flu. She was nearly as magnificent as her Hungarian counterpart Görbicz, scoring 10 times to become top scorer of Leipzig.

Győr impressed from the opening minutes and Katalin Pálinger returned to the goal with a stable and classy performance.

Despite the substantial lead of the Hungarians, Kudlacz and her team-mates kept fighting in the second half.

Schülke’s performance improved and Leipzig’s attackers found big holes on the right side of Audi ETO’s defence.

Csaba Konkoly’s team showed some defensive errors on that side, but his loud time out with serious warnings calmed the players down. They returned to well thought out attacks, increasing their lead, which they maintained to the final whistle.

After four rounds, both Audi ETO and Larvik have progressed to the Top 4 of the EHF CL, and therefore the two final rounds will decide the group winner.


TEXT: Márk Hegedüs
 
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