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31.01.2019, 13:00
Hungarian powerhouses face-off in Europe
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NEWS: Győri Audi ETO KC and FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria clash in the Women's EHF Champions League this weekend in one of three national derbies
 

Hungarian powerhouses face-off in Europe

The second round of matches in the Women's EHF Champions League features three national derbies and all three are the subject of this series of first-hand insights, breaking down both teams and comparing their relative strengths. Read about the Danish derby and all-French clash.

Twenty-six domestic championships titles and twenty-five Hungarian cup trophies have been shared by the two most powerful clubs from Hungary - Győri Audi ETO KC and FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria.

These giants of women’s handball will face each other in Budapest as FTC host Győr on Saturday 2 February at 17:30 CET.

The guests and title holders seem untouchable as they won every match in this season so far in every competition, while Ferencváros’ second spot is concrete proof in the domestic league, although they finished the group matches of Europe’s top flight with a split of three wins and three losses.

Attack
Advantage Győr

In scoring, there was no better team in the first half of the season than the four-time Champions League winners Győr with 210 goals in six rounds, which is an incredible average of 35 goals per match.

They changed their game style after Gábor Danyi succeeded Ambros Martín as coach. Under the new coach’s system, the squad ran a more up-tempo, Scandinavian style of offence where every player is able to score at anytime and share the weight on their shoulders. The focus is on the successful defence from where the team can quickly transition to counter-attack.

On the other side, Anikó Kovacsics, Noémi Háfra and Nerea Pena are the most dangerous goalscorers. They can always finish a game with six goals or more. That should make Györ’s task easier, however, it is not a simple quest as Bietigheim experienced when Kovacsics scored 15 against them in November.

Defence
Advantage Győr

Injuries never seem to favour FTC and nothing changed this season and the main pillars of their defence could not play. With that, it is not a surprise they conceded the most goals among any team which qualified for the main round.

Győr used to be known for their diamond-hard defence, but with Gábor Danyi they focus more on offence this year. One of the main reasons were Yvette Broch’s absence and Zsuzsanna Tomori’s injury, but with newcomer, Crina Pintea, their “old habit” could return.

Goalkeepers
Advantage Győr

Although FTC boast Blanka Bíró, one of the most talented Hungarian goalkeepers, is between the posts, she will need some serious help from her leaky defence if FTC are to stand a chance.

ETO’s squad includes three of the best in goal. With Amandina Leynaud, Kari Aalvik Grimsbo and Éva Kiss, they are spoilt with three great options to find the best solution against their opponents’ firepower.

Experience
Advantage Győr

With Tomori, Anita Görbicz. Eduarda Amorim, Nycke Groot and many more, Györ do not face any issues with experience. There are world and European championships winners and have a fine collection of Champions League trophies as well.

This line-up is completed by the members of the Hungarian national team which won the 2018 IHF Women’s Junior World Championships. Győr are unsurprisingly among the favourites to claim the trophy at the Women’s EHF FINAL4 in May.

The “green eagles” are mostly filled with young and talented athletes who have yet to experience the biggest events. With coach Gábor Elek’s help, they will improve with time.

The verdict

The breakdown speaks for itself, Györ are heavy favourites to keep their perfect record intact and only home advantage and a true Hungarian derby atmosphere can give FTC a chance of causing an upset.


TEXT: Béla Müller / cor
 
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