Home victory in Rm. Vâlcea
Oltchim defeated Győri Audi ETO in an exciting thriller, where the first period has been dominated by the guests, but the hosts turned the game with a marvelous second period and have good chances to advance to their second final in their EHF Champions League history.
C.S. Oltchim Rm. Vâlcea (ROU) - Győri Audi ETO (HUN) 35:31 (13:17)
A packed hall and vibrant atmosphere welcomed the two teams for the second semi-final match of the EHF Women´s Champions League in the Traian Arena in Râmnicu Vâlcea.
Despite the high motivation of the Hungarian elite club after their successful march so far in the season, it was Oltchim that started the match better, as the Romanians easily found holes in the Győr defense, scoring long-distance by former Audi ETO player Aurelia Bradeanu, and quickly built a two-goals lead.
There were no surprises in the starting line-ups of the Hungarians, both teams were going for a 6-0 defensive formation, but Romanian coach Radu Voina came up with some surprises and used two line players up from the start and also Talida Tolnai in the goal instead of Luminita Dinu Hutupan.
Yeliz Özel and her comrades had no problems in getting the ball to their pivot Oana Manea and those assists resulted in 7 m penalties that the hosts executed into goals without showing nerves.
Pushed by their loud fans, Györ´s performance became stronger, trying hard to turn the match. With sharpshooter Eduarda Amorim's second goal of the match, the green-white colored team shortened the gap to just one goal after 11 minutes.
A great Hungarian dominance followed and Győri Audi ETO with high tempo turned the result and increased the lead minute-by-minute.
Oltchim were simply unable to find their way back into the game, and coach Voina´s girls only had a few moments in the first period that was totally dominated by the Hungarians. Thanks to the first half lead of Győri Audi ETO, Oltchim needed to fight to keep up.
The half-time break helped the hosts to refresh their squad and the Oltchim players emerged from the cabins with great will and determination.
Back court ace Patricia Vizitiu and her team-mates closed up quickly to level score in minute 34 leaving their Hungarian counterpart in big shock.
Audi ETO switched goalkeepers, but both Katalin Pálinger and Katrine Lunde Haraldsen were totally unlucky, not saving efficiently from the wing positions. There Oltchim impressed greatly through Iulia Curea and Adriana Nechita.
In the second period the Romanian attacks usually resulted in goals and soon Radu Voina's team moved ahead by seven goals.
Key figures in this magnificent performance were besides the wingers goalkeeper legend Luminita Dinu Hutupan who showed fantastic athletic heroics between the sticks just like in her golden days.
The Hungarians, hoping to take their chance to turn the match, fought bravely through 7 m throws by Anita Görbicz and sharpshooter Eduarda Amorim (the best two Hungarian scorers), but the home side looked impressive in both defence and attack.
Oltchim acted very effectively and punished Hungarian mistakes through quick counter attacks, Győr were without plans.
Despite their vociferous spectators pushing the away side in the arena, coach Karl Erik Bøhn's team wasn’t able to reproduce the strong defensive line that had characterised their performances in the first period.
Their counterpart Oltchim, with their speedy and enthusiastic players showed brilliant constructive teamwork and thanks to rock-solid performances of Dinu in the Romanian goal and with the backing of loud cheering fans in the stands celebrated a well-fought victory that opens the gate for them to this year's EHF CL final.
TEXT: Márk Hegedüs