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10.03.2013, 22:38
Györ win sends Larvik through as Krim prevail
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Ferencváros on the brink of elimination after Krim takes the pole position before the last round.

»EHF CL Channel »2012-13 Women's CL
»Main Round
»
 

Györ win sends Larvik through as Krim prevail

The last two games of the main round’s penultimate round produced three winners, as 2011 champions Larvik advanced into the semi-finals by virtue of Györ’s nerve-jangling win at holders Budućnost Poddgorica, who will miss out on the last four after winning the trophy last year.

Krim Mercator are almost assured of reaching the semi-finals, as only a catastrophic 15-goal defeat in their final game at Oltchim would allow Ferencváros to squeeze in provided that they win their game at Zvezda Zvenigorod.

Group 1
Budućnost Podgorica (MNE) vs Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN) 21:22 (12:13)


The reigning European club champions went down fighting in a truly absorbing contest, played in a fervent kind of atmosphere akin only to Podgorica’s Morača Hall in the Women’s EHF Champions League.

The defeat means Budućnost now have pride to play for in their final main round game at Larvik, the real winners of Györ’s gritty and vengeance-driven defeat of Montenegro’s giants.

Roared on by their passionate fans, Budućnost matched Györ in every department for 50 minutes, before they ran out of steam in the closing stages and allowed the Hungarian champions to stretch their perfect EHF Champions League run this season to 11 wins through the competition’s two group stages.

Strong favourites to reach the final for the second season in a row, the visitors – who already booked their semi-final berth last weekend – played as if their careers depended on the game with Budućnost. Their relentless pressure was driven by the desire to avenge last season’s painful defeat by Budućnost in the final, but it seemed the home side would swing the tie their way when they carved out a 20:18 lead with 10 minutes left.

Budućnost had trailed throughout the contest up to that point and playing catch-up took its toll in the climax, with Györ’s Norwegian goalkeeper Katrine Lunde Haraldsen keeping out Milena Knežević’s shot on the buzzer to leave the frenetic home supporters in tatters.

Playmaker Anita Görbicz led the winners with seven goals, Heidi Løke added five and right wing Jovanka Radičević rifled in four against her Montenegrin compatriots, whom she warmly embraced after the emotional encounter in a cracking atmosphere.

Line player Dragana Cvijić netted six goals for Budućnost while Anđela Bulatović and Milena Knežević collected four each, the former inspiring the home team’s comeback which had the crowd on their feet and in raptures midway through the second half.

Group 2:
Krim Mercator (SLO) vs Zvezda Zvenigorod (RUS) 27:23 (11:13)


Krim are almost home and dry after a hard-fought win over Zvezda Zvenigorod, having staged a rip-roaring second half comeback to remain top of the group with their passage to the semi-finals firmly in their own hands before the final matchday.

Only a monumental collapse with the finish line beckoning, more precisely a 15-goal defeat at Oltchim Râmnicu Vâlcea, would present Ferencváros a chance to sneak into the last four at Krim’s expense if they win their match at Zvezda Zvenigorod.

Oltchim need to match FTC’s achievement in the final round to progress and are assured of a semi-final berth if they beat Krim, while the Hungarians must now hope for a miracle in a situation which is out of their grasp.

Liudmila Postnova tormented Krim in the first half with long-range efforts as the home team seemed to be subdued by the pressure of a must-win situation, but closed their ranks in defence after the break as they also moved up two gears in attack.

„We deserved to win after finding the strength to turn the match on its ahead after the break and we are delighted to be on the verge of reaching the semi-finals,“ Krim’s Tamara Mavsar told Sport Klub television after the gripping encounter between two fired-up teams.

Coach Tone Tiselj added: „My plaudits go to the players, the staff and most of all these wonderful fans who were behind us all the way.“

The home team drew level at 15:15 in the 40th minute after struggling in the first half and never looked back from there on, as they engineered a 9:3 run in the next 14 minutes to seal victory.

Postnova finished as the game’s top scorer with seven goals but Krim’s depth prevailed as Linnea Torstensson scored six, Nina Wörz and Maja Zrnec chipped in with four each, while Andrea Penezić and Katarina Krpež added three apiece for the hosts.
 


TEXT: Zoran Milosavljević / br
 
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