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23.10.2015, 11:50
Vardar aim to bounce back; Györ to march on
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GROUP C PREVIEW Vardar are strong favourites against Hypo while Györ meet Midtjylland in a potentially exciting clash
 

Vardar aim to bounce back; Györ to march on

Handed a lesson by new-look Györi Audi ETO KC in their season opener last week, HC Vardar know that there will be no room for error when they visit a revamped Hypo Niederosterreich side.

Györ and Danish powerhouse FC Midtjylland should produce a tighter clash after both teams fired on all cylinders in the opening round.

GROUP C

Hypo Niederösterreich (AUT) vs HC Vardar (MKD)
Saturday 24 October, 20:15 local time, live on ehfTV

Once the royalty of women’s club handball, Hypo are now fighting for scraps in a group including two-time former champions Györ, a strong Vardar and a rock-solid Midtjylland - who reached the FINAL4 in 2014.

Still, the Austrian club’s stature always draws positive attention and that will be again the case when they entertain Macedonian giants Vardar, who will be determined to redeem themselves for a tough opening home loss at the hands Györ.

Hypo, held their own against Midtjylland for as long as they could before a weary-looking second half performance resulted in a whopping 33:21 defeat.

The present gulf in class could not be wider, with Vardar boasting a star-studded outfit, while Hypo have been reduced to a homegrown squad after their sizeable Brazilian contingent left.

Vardar’s new signing Sanja Damnjanovic had a reasonably good debut against Györ but the general impression was that there was something missing in the team’s overall performance.

They leaked too many easy goals while the attack looked bereft of ideas against an aggressive Györ defence, which gave playmaker Andrea Lekic preciously little room to operate.

“We played with only a fraction of our potential, confusion crept in very early in the game against Györ and we simply must beat Hypo to bounce back,” Montenegrin right wing Jovanka Radicevic said.

Hypo’s left back Marina Budecevic acknowledged the enormity of her team’s task on Saturday,

“We will do our best to stay in the game as long as possible,” she told the club’s official website.


Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN) vs FC Midtjylland (DEN)
Sunday 25 October, 19:00 local time, live on ehfTV

This game could turn into a cracker after both teams celebrated emphatic victories in the opening round.

While Midtjylland were expected to beat Hypo comfortably, Györ pulled off an upset with an impressive away win over Vardar.

The contrasting styles should offer plenty of excitement, with Györ’s ironclad defence up against Midtjylland’s potent and high-scoring attack; capable of giving any rivals a roasting.

Trine Jensen led the charge against a modest Hypo with a game-high nine goals, with Johanna Ahlm adding five while three other players chipped in with four each, underlining the multiple-threat Györ will face.

The Hungarian outfit beat Vardar after stifling their attack while taking their opportunities with ruthless efficiency at the other end.

New signings Lin Jorum Sulland and Zsuzsanna Tomori hit the ground running, scoring four goals each to act as the perfect support cast for stalwart pivot Heidi Loke and playmaker Aniko Kovacsics.

Györ will have to be wary of Midtjylland’s devastating fast breaks, which broke down Hypo’s resistance in the second half, while the Danish side face an uphill battle to contain the seemingly evergreen Loke on the six-metre line.

Györ warmed up for the clash with a resounding 27:12 Hungarian league win at MTK Budapest.

“I am happy with the performance that came in between a pair of tough Champions League matches,” Györ coach Ambros Martin said after the game.

“I rested Zsuzsanna Tomori because she spent a lot of minutes on the court against Vardar and we needed to recharge her batteries for the clash with Midtjylland.”

Midtjylland too had an enjoyable 25:15 win at Ringkobing.


TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / bc
 
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