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11.05.2012, 13:00
Hungarian birthday party or Montenegrin joy?
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Preview of the second-leg match of the EHF Women’s Champions League Final.
 

Hungarian birthday party or Montenegrin joy?

The last decisive match of the prestigious EHF Women's Champions League 2011/12 season will take place in Podgorica, Montenegro this weekend (Sunday 13 May). Last Saturday (5 May) Győri Audi ETO KC celebrated a narrow 29:27 victory after an electrifying match in an absorbing first-leg of the final played in a packed Veszprém Arena in Hungary.

That narrow defeat might give the hosts a realistic chance of winning the trophy for the first time ever in front of their own supporters, but the Hungarians also stand a good chance, as they’ve had very strong away performances during the entire season.

The showdown will be a fitting climax to a highly entertaining tournament which fully lived up to expectations in terms of entertainment and the superior quality of handball on display.

WCL_Final_2012_Compete_Buducnost_Gyor450x450

Budućnost (MNE) - Győri Audi ETO KC (HUN)
Sunday 13th May 2012, 19:00 hrs (local time)
First Leg: Győri Audi ETO KC (HUN) vs.Budućnost (MNE) 29:27 (13:12)
Watch live on ehfTV.com - click HERE.

As expected, the first leg match in Hungary brought an exciting and tight game with top handball from both sides. The slim two-goal Győri Audi ETO victory sets up a grand finale in the Morača Hall, which is the usual home court of Budućnost.

A vast number of people from all over the world are set to watch the final of the EHF Women's Champions League in Montenegro. 5,000 fans will be packed into a sold-out Morača Sports Centre to witness the match.

Eduarda Amorim and her team-mates are ahead by two goals, but the host team has performed above expectations on home soil so far in the tournament. Pushed-on by their vociferous supporters, coach Dragan Adžić's team will enjoy a slight advantage in the second leg which may allow them to turn the result and win the trophy for the first time ever in club's history.

Last Saturday (5th May), the Hungarians were already on the winner's way by five-goals, but throughout the game, Budućnost used a more aggressive defensive system and this was the key to their close defeat.

The Montenegrins will take heart from their earlier impressive victories this season, but the Hungarians will also be confident after winning the first leg duel.

"We were not playing at our best in Veszprém, but we surely can improve and win the title in the away arena of Podgorica," said Győr`s sharpshooter Eduarda Amorim.

Budućnost's Ana Đokić was unhappy about her side’s poor performance on the seven-metre line: "We missed a total of five penalties, which is quite unusual, as both Bojana Popović and Katarina Bulatović are usually on target from the penalty line."

Despite missing from the seven-metre line, Popović gave her best performance this season, and with 14 goals she massively contributed to the close final result.

Her back-line partner Bulatović played under her level though, scoring only three times from 16 throws. Győr`s superb goalkeeper Katrine Lunde Haraldsen was superior against her, making the right-back, her team-mates, and their fans frustrated.

Haraldsen's partner in goal, Katalin Pálinger, aims for an impressive farewell and hopes to crown her special career by winning the EHF Women's Champions League title. Pálinger will play her last European Cup match in the second leg on Sunday, as the top goalkeeper is to retire from handball at the season's end.

Thanks to the narrow defeat last weekend, the Montenegrins were dancing and celebrating after the match, but nothing is decided yet, and the chances for winning the title are said to be about equal between the two teams.

"We will do everything we can to take this once in a lifetime chance to win the title on home soil,” coach Adžić said.

His opposite number Karl Erik Bøhn made it clear in no uncertain terms that Győri Audi ETO need to change their approach if they are to keep the narrow advantage over Budućnost and to emerge victorious after his side's two-goal win in the first leg.

“Last Saturday we played much too slowly and made several errors on the defensive line. We only won by +2, so we will have to change our defence," said Bøhn.

Also in their attack, the Hungarians lacked power at the right-back position, as coach Bøhn opted to play centre-back Andrea Lekić there, but she is usually more efficient at left-back, or at her customary position in the middle.

Defensive specialist Àgnes Hornyák played last weekend with a shoulder injury, which hindered her defensive performance and missed Györ’s first leg of their domestic league final against EHF Women’s Cup Winners Cup Finalists FTC-Hungaria on Wednesday (9 May) and is a doubt for the Buducnost game.

Those are the two key positions where the Győri Audi ETO team will need massive improvement for the return tie.

The big question will be whether the Hungarians will be able to crack the strong defence of the hosts. If the Hungarian attackers wait for their chances and remain patient, then they will find ways to cut through Budućnost.

On the other hand, the main trademark of Anita Görbicz and co. this year has been their fantastic speed in switching to attack. Using their speed, they often surprised their opponents and scored easily with counter attacks.

Budućnost will count on a full house in Podgorica and so the Montenegrins hope that emotions from the stands will give them extra power to achieve the club's biggest success. For insiders it will be interesting to see which tactics the Hungarian champions will opt for in the return match.

Hungarian team-captain Anita Görbicz will also welcome hundreds of Győri Audi ETO supporters to the Morača Sports Centre, as several buses and other vehicles will arrive on match day at the Montenegrin capital.

Győr's marvellous centre-back will celebrate her birthday on match day, and she would be more than happy to share her special day with the green and white supporters. Budućnost, though, will be looking to spoil the party.

Become a fan of the Official EHF Women's Champions League Facebook. LIKE US! at www.facebook.com/ehf.champions.league

Watch the final leg of the EHF Women's Champions League Final on ehfTV.com (subject to local restrictions). Click HERE for more information.


TEXT: Márk Hegedüs
 
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