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16.02.2014, 23:09
Larvik hold Buducnost, as Györ march on
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ROUND REVIEW: All eyes were on Group 2 of the Women's EHF Champions League and it was the defending champions who stole a march on their rivals

»EHF CL Channel »2013-14 Women's CL
»Main Round
»
 

Larvik hold Buducnost, as Györ march on

Defending champions Györ moved with striking distance of the showpiece event in Budapest after overcoming a jittery start to overpower Krim Mercator, who are still in the hunt for a FINAL4 berth despite their second successive defeat.

Montenegrin title holders Buducnost Podgorica had to settle for a draw against Larvik after a titanic tussle in which goalkeeper Clara Woltering again shone for the home team while right back Nora Mork carried the Norwegians to their first point in the Main Round.

The result left Buducnost second in the group on four points from two games, one behind Gyor and two ahead of Krim, while Larvik are bottom with one point but can still hope for a top-two finish.

The continent’s premier club competition for women resumes in a fortnight with the reverse fixtures of the halfway mark, meaning that Györ visit Krim and Larvik entertain Buducnost.

Group 2

Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN) vs RK Krim Mercator (SLO) 27:24 (14:12)

Defending champions Györ ground out a hard-earned home win over Slovenian rivals Krim Mercator and made a big step towards the Women's EHF FINAL4 after overcoming a slow start to stay in the group’s driving seat ahead of 2012 winners Buducnost Podgorica.

Drubbed last weekend at Buducnost, Krim made a surprisingly good start in  Györ and took an early 3:1 lead but their joy was short-lived as the home side conjured a 6:1 run to turn the match in the opening 10 minutes.

It was high-scoring encounter early on but both teams tightened up their defence and goals were difficult to come by in the latter stages of the opening period, with both goalkeepers making several good saves.

Györ’s Montenegrin right back Katarina Bulatovic produced one of her best performances of recent times, scoring four goals in the first half and Brazilian left back Eduarda Amorim added three as the Hungarian side took a slender two-goal lead into the locker room at the interval.

Krim gave as good as they got after the break and although they trailed by three goals most of the time, the visitors managed to cut the deficit to 20:19 before line player Oana Manea, who was a handful for Gyor’s defence, received a pivotal two-minute suspension.

Györ took full advantage and raced into a 25:21 lead as their backcourt shooters found ample space at the nine-metre line despite Krim coach Tone Tiselj’s instructions to his team to shore up the leaks in the middle.

Fine counter-attacking enabled Krim to pull back to 26:24 but Györ playmaker Anita Gorbicz then unleashed a thunderbolt into the top corner, sparking vociferous celebrations among the green-and-white clad home fans.

Bulatovic and Amorim netted six goals each for Györ and Gorbicz added five, while left back Andrea Penezic scored six and right wing Katarina Krpez chipped in with five for Krim.

Buducnost (MNE) vs Larvik (NOR) 19:19 (8:7)

Low-scoring contests are hardly ever billed as classics, but the enthralling rollercoaster in the Montenegrin capital will certainly go down in history as one, having produced a plethora of fireworks on the court.

Both sides missed a chance to win in a frantic final minute after Buducnost spent most of the game in the driving seat but had to play catch-up in the last quarter of the game after Nora Mork, the game’s top scorer with eight goals, incited Larvik’s 6:0 run which turned the match on its head midway through the second half.

Tough and physical defending paved the way for a catalogue of errors at both ends in attack as neither side found their rhythm in the first half, although Buducnost turned the tide in the opening exchanges after scoring four goals without reply to take a 5:3 lead.

Larvik’s veteran goalkeeper Cecilie Leganger conjured one of her most impressive recent performances, but her opposite number Clara Woltering was simply in a league of her own for Buducnost, saving sitters from the six-metre line with frightening ease.

The hosts seemed to have landed enough blows to knock the stuffing out of Larvik when they took a 13:10 lead, but the unstoppable Mork then took centre stage and silenced a raucous 5,000 home crowd with a barrage of goals from all angles.

However, Woltering was not done either. Diving to both corners in a display of exceptional reflexes, she hauled her team back into the game as Cristina Neagu and Milena Knezevic finally started delivering in attack.

Buducnost drew level at 17:17 and stayed in the game even after pivot Dragana Cvijic picked up a two-minute suspension in the final minute, as winger Majda Mehmedovic cancelled out Mork’s penalty to tie it at 19:19 with 30 seconds left.

Linn Kristin Riegelhuth Koren then missed a great chance for Larvik and Neagu returned the favour on the buzzer, sending her shot over the crossbar when she only had Leganger to beat.  


TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / cor
 
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