ROUND REVIEW: First leg results indicate a French-Danish encounter in the final of the Women’s Cup Winners’ Cup
Midtjylland and Fleury on course for final
Something spectacular will need to happen in the second leg matches of the Women’s Cup Winners’ Cup Semi-finals to prevent a meeting between Danish FC Midtjylland and French Fleury Loiret Handball in the final.
FC Midtjylland, who won the tournament in 2004, took a big step towards the final on Easter Sunday in Budapest, as the Danish team won 30:23 against FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria.
Midtjylland had the upper hand from the start of the match in the FTC Elek Gyula Arena, and it did not take the visitors long to create five-goal lead, partly through a great performance by Sabine Englert in goal.
However, the home team managed to reduce the deficit to 15:13 at half-time, and it only took them one minute and 11 seconds in the second half to equalise for the first time in the match at 15:15.
Midtjylland soon found another gear and went ahead by three again. In the last ten minutes, they increased their lead to a seven-goal win thanks largely to Englert, who recently extended her contract with the Danish club for another year.
If Midtjylland can be considered as being close to the final, Fleury Loiret Handball are even closer.
The French team managed to win the first leg away against Hypo Niederösterreich 32:20, reducing the second match in Orlean to a mere formality.
19 saves from Paula De Zoqbi in the Fleury goal contributed to the visitors being in the driver’s seat throughout the 60 minutes.
Already after 10 minutes Fleury were leading by eight goals, 14:6, and eight goals was also the distance at half-time, with the guests were leading 18:10.
In the second half, the home team managed to reduce the gap to six goals, but that was as close they came, and before the final buzzer, Fleury had doubled the advantage to 12 goals.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor
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