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12.10.2013, 22:58
Rampant Györ march on as Podravka bounce back
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ROUND REVIEW: Sävehof turned the tables against Metz to record first points of the season in Round 2 of the Women's EHF Champions League. Midtjylland's Styge Jorgensen decided the thriller in Lublin.
 

Rampant Györ march on as Podravka bounce back

EHF Champions league holders Györi Audi ETO eased to their second landslide win in the Group Matches of the 16-team competition after Norwegian pivot Heidi Loke led an unstoppable charge at Romanian debutants Baia Mare, who slipped to a second defeat.

Denmark’s Midtjylland matched Györi’s achievement with a dramatic victory at Polish upstarts MKS Lublin in a highly entertaining rollercoaster where the lead changed hands time and again.

Sweden’s Sävehof edged Metz for their first win thanks to a majestic performance by Ida Oden and Croatia’s Podravka Vegeta also opened their account with an emphatic defeat of Balonmano Bera Bera, who face an uphill task to avoid the wooden spoon in Group D.

Sunday’s schedule brings three intriguing clashes, with Hypo at home to Thuringer, FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria entertaining 2012 winners Budućnost Podgorica and Leipzig playing Krim Mercator.

Group A

HCM Baia Mare (ROU) vs Györi Audi ETO (HUN) 21:33 (10:16)

In Maramures

Reigning champions Györi Audi ETO produced another ruthless performance in an emphatic victory against the competition’s Romanian newcommers, who now have two defeats out of two.

The Hungarian side, in contrast, are firmly in the driving seat of the group with two wins after line player Heidi Loke rifled in nine goals and Brazilian backcourt pillar Eduarda Amorim chipped in with six.

The holders dominated after an edgy start, with the score tied at 5:5 after the opening 13 minutes, and it was no surprise that they led by six goals at halftime after a 7:2 run.

Despite a brief Baia Mare fightback, the gap kept increasing after the break as playmaker Anita Gorbicz also found her range, finishing with six goals while Ivett Szepesi added four.

Line player Timea Tatar led Baia Mare with five goals and four other home players scored three goals apiece, but it was only enough to keep the scoreline fairly respectable as the gulf in class was everywhere to be seen.

"I am happy that we have won this match. We prepared it very well and today we had a very inspired goalkeeper," Gyor’s Montenegrin right back Katarina Bulatović said after the game.

Coach Martin Ambros added:  "We knew that the beginning of the game would be the key to the victory so we gave them no chance at all. But still, I want to congratulate HCM Baia Mare and its fans.

"It has been a good feeling playing here and the game was harder than the score shows. I think that it will be very hard for other teams to win here."


Group B

MKS Lublin (POL) vs FC Midtjylland (DEN) 24:25 (14:13)

In Lublin

A late, late winner from Stine Jorgensen settled a thrilling rollercoaster clash in Poland, where the passionate home fans were left in disbelief as Lublin threw away a great chance to spring an upset after a heroic performance by their Bulgarian goalkeeper Ekaterina Dzukheva Mihaylova.

Roared on by the crowd, Lublin made a bright start and led 4:2 after five minutes but then came to a screeching halt in attack.

Stine Jorgensen scored three quickfire goals as the visitors conjured a 7:1 run which gave them a 9:5 lead after just 12 minutes, but the home side refused to lie down and nosed ahead 12:11 as Alina Wojtas scored her fourth goal to turn the tide.  

Mihaylova shone for Lublin in the closing stages of the first half, racking up 10 saves in 25 minutes and enabled her team to take a slender but well deserved lead into the dressing room.

Her athleticism continued to frustrate Midtjylland after the break as two successive goals from Dorota Malek handed Lublin an 18:15 lead.

Mihaylova kept out one sitter after another from the six-metre line as the Danish visitors struggled to rediscover the firepower that blew away FTC Rail Cargo Hungaria in the opening round.

Clinical penalty taking by Jorgensen brought Midtjylland back to within touching distance (19:18) midway through the second half, but the visitors then missed several chances to draw level as everything they threw at Mihaylova seemed to hit a wall.

Her 19th save again denied the Danes an equaliser with the score 22:21 to the hosts, who nonetheless appeared to be running out of steam and left wing Simone Rasmussen finally redressed the balance with Midtjylland’s next possession.

A nerve-jangling finale followed as Malek restored Lublin’s lead and  Cornelia Groot hit back with a penalty before Wojtas squeezed in a shot from a tight angle.

Groot netted her fifth goal to make it 24:24 and after Sabine Englert parried a piledriver, the irrepressible Jorgensen scored her seventh goal as she unleashed a scorcher which wrong-footed Mihaylova with only 10 second left on the clock.  

Group C

IK Sävehof (SWE) vs Metz Handball (FRA) 32:30 (15:19)

In Partille

Swedish champions Sävehof produced a magnificent second-half comeback to celebrate their first Champions League group stage win of the season after right back Ida Oden came up with a masterclass individual performance to sink French title holders Metz Handball.

The win puts Sävehof in a good position to challenge for a top-two finish in a tough group including Germany’s Leipzig and Slovenian giants Krim Mercator, who meet in an eagerly awaited clash on Sunday.

Metz dominated a high-scoring and fast flowing first half and although the French side picked up three two-minute suspensions, they were able to take a telling four-goal lead into the dressing room as Paule Baudouin netted four times, while Jurswailly Luciano and Grace Zaadi Deuna added three goals each for the visitors.

International backs Ida Oden and Jamina Roberts led the home side with four and three goals respectively, but their fine attacking play was cancelled out by soft defending.

Sävehof stayed in the match early in the second half thanks to some good goalkeeping from Filippa Idehn and a considerably tougher defence, with right wing Hanna Fogelstrom and Roberts scoring in quick succession to cut a five-goal deficit to 23:22 in the 40th minute.

The towering Oden then stepped up to the plate, muscling through the centre and converting a penalty before she unleashed a low drive from eight metres to give the hosts a 26:25 lead with 12 minutes remaining.

Metz fell a further goal behind in Sävehof’s next possession and forced their coach to call a time-out, but it did little to contain the unstoppable Oden who scored her 10th goal to fire the home team 28:26 ahead.

The tit-for-tat battle continued in the closing stages but there was to be no final twist as Oden converted another penalty and right wing Linn Blohm drilled in from her flank to give the home side an unassailable 32:29 lead heading into the final minute.
   
Group D

HC Podravka Vegeta (CRO) vs Balonmano Bera Bera (ESP) 29:18 (14:7)

In Koprivnica

Croatian title holders Podravka Vegeta bounced back from last weekend’s drubbing by Larvik to chalk up their first Champions League points this term after a convincing display against their Spanish rivals.

Following an anxious opening 10 minutes, Podravka surged ahead thanks to the versatile skills of centre back Tina Gavranic, who scored and dished out assists as the home team conjured a crucial 4:0 run to lead 7:3 midway through the first half.

Eli Pinedo kept Balonmano Bera Bera afloat for as long as she could, scoring her team’s first three goals, but the visitors struggled against their more resourceful opponents throughout the opening period.

Serbian right back Jelena Zivkovic netted her fourth goal to give the hosts a 10:6 advantage in the 24th minute, with goalkeeper Mirjana Milenković stopping a penalty shot to rack up her eighth save at the other end.

The one-way traffic continued as Podravka netted from all angles, leaving five-goal Pinedo as Balonmano’s solitary resistance.

The unstoppable Zivkovic scored her seventh goal from 10 attempts to make the score 19:11 early in the second half and Ekaterina Nemaskalo converted a fast break to force a Balonmano timeout.  But it only galvanised the home team, who scored another four goals without reply and put the game beyond the Spanish side.

Nine out of 12 was Zivkovic’s impressive tally and Andrea Covic netted her fifth as the lead soared to 27:14 in the 50th minute, while Pinedo started to run out of steam at the other end.

The home team went through the motions in the closing stages but the excellent  Milenkovic nevertheless pulled off several superb saves, although she injured her elbow two minutes from time after diving to her right to prevent a corner.


TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / br
 
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