FTC end Vipers’ superb unbeaten run
Norwegian champions Vipers Kristiansand lost their first game of the season on Saturday evening, 30:28 against FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria, leaving Györ with the only unbeaten record in the DELO EHF Champions League.
The loss sees Vipers fall to fifth place in the group, with 12 points and a plethora of games in hand, while FTC are challenging for second place, tying Metz Handball with 14 points.
FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) vs Vipers Kristiansand (NOR) 30:28 (14:11)
- FTC’s only goalkeeper for this game, Kinga Janurik, saved nine shots for a 45 per cent efficiency in the first half as Vipers scored only once between the 20th minute and half-time
- with backs Noemi Hafra and Katrin Klujber combining for five goals, FTC finished the first part of the game with a 6:1 run to give them a 14:11 lead
- Vipers’ usually reliable back line had an off evening against FTC, combining for only 15 goals from 24 shots, five of which came from penalties, as the Hungarian side duly took advantage
- a strong push from the Norwegian side saw the gap contract to only one goal, 22:21, but Katrin Klujber was unstoppable, scoring seven times to lift the Hungarian side back to a crucial win
- the two sides will meet once again in Erd on Monday, with FTC eyeing another two points, as the Hungarian side now sit third in the group, tied with Metz on 14 points
Can FTC really challenge for the top?
It was fun while it lasted. Vipers had their best unbeaten streak in the EHF Champions League but their problems were on display in recent games with rough patches that their opponents could not exploit.
FTC took advantage of the Norwegian side’s errors and pounced in important moments to hand them their first loss.
The Hungarian side can jump to the first place in the group if they win again on Monday, an unexpected turn of events after their season got off slowly, due to a Covid-19 outbreak in their squad.
It is a really precious win, a precious success because we won against one of the best teams in Europe. This week we had a tragedy in our Fradi family, we lost the mother of our masseur, so I would like to offer this win to her memory. I am really proud of my team, my players, and I must thank them for this performance, it was great teamwork.