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27.02.2016, 16:30
Resolute FTC end Baia Mare’s perfect run
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GROUP 1 REVIEW: The heated clash in Budapest was decided by the massive Hungarian wall of defence backed by the excellent Melinda Szikora, who doomed the visitors to finish fourth on the table.
 

Resolute FTC end Baia Mare’s perfect run

FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria temporarily claimed second place in Group 1 by defeating HCM Baia Mare in the last round of the Women’s EHF Champions Leage’ Main Round on Saturday.

The win for the home side means HCM Baia Mare are forced to settle for fourth on the group table, while the Hungarian champion’s final position is to be decided on Sunday when Larvik play Fleury.

After the completion of Round 6 the teams will begin preparation for the quarter-finals, the first leg of which will be played from April 1-3, with the return matches on April 8-10.

GROUP 1
FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) vs HCM Baia Mare (ROM) 21:18 (14:7)

FTC, who managed to win just one main round game prior to Round 6, were desperate to avoid finishing fourth in Group 1 when they took the court in front of their enthusiastic crowd.

It was clear from the first minute that Baia Mare’s perfect main round run was to be put to a massive test in Budapest. FTC lost some rhythm for the main round, but showed they were worthy of another two points, steamrolling their visitors with an excellent first half.

"We didn't used our options, and we were beated by a team that played better in this fantastic atmosphere," was Baia Mare's Gabriella Szucs simple explanation after the match.

Melinda Szikora was outstanding in goal as the strict home wall never let Baia Mare’s heavy shooters catch a breath, which resulted in a 37 per cent scoring efficiency and only seven goals from the in-form visitors in the first half.

Baia Mare commited an unusually large number of techical errors, yet the visitors pulled their defence together and went on a promising three-goal run after the break. FTC struggled to find a way through the solid Romanian wall and Ionica Munteanu made some important saves.

FTC_BaiaMare_Pena_celebration.jpg

But before Baia Mare could crawl too close a Nerea Pena goal returned the edge to FTC. The visitors remained in sight until the final whistle but Luca Szekerczes’s penalties and Szikora’s saves proved decisive in the high-energy, heated clash.

FTC are currently second in Group 1 but Larvik can leapfrog the Hungarian team to should the Norwegians win at Fleury on Sunday. Rostov-Don have long since been crowned the winners of Group 1, while Fleury and Thüringer HC round out the bottom of the table.


TEXT: Bence Martha / cg
 
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