Semi-final pairings set by the EHF FINAL4 Women draw
The prospect of an all-Hungarian final in Budapest on 4 June is still on the cards after FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria and Györi Audi ETO KC were kept apart in the draw for the semi-finals of the EHF FINAL4 Women 2023.
Conducted by EHF First Vice-President Predrag Boskovic at the AMC Networks International studio in the Hungarian capital on Tuesday, the two semi-final pairings for 3 June were drawn.
Reigning champions Vipers Kristiansand of Norway will face Györi Audi ETO KC in one of the semi-final matches, a repeat of last year's final.
While Denmark's Team Esbjerg will take on EHF FINAL4 newcomers FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria in the other semi-final.
The draw in full:
Saturday 3 June
EHF FINAL4 WOMEN 2023, SEMI-FINALS
Semi-final 1: Györi Audi ETO KC vs Vipers Kristiansand
Semi-final 2: FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria vs Team Esbjerg
To be played across the city at the 20,022 capacity MVM Dome for the second time, the two semi-finals plus the third place match and final on 4 June are sure to be an incredible spectacle, played out in front of an electric atmosphere.
Keeping with growing tradition, the playing times remain unchanged from previous editions of the marquee event:
- Saturday 3 June: Semi-finals at 15:15 CEST and 18:00 CEST
- Sunday 4 June: 3/4 placement match at 15:15 CEST; final at 18:00 CEST
Confirmation of the order in which the two semi-finals will be played will follow in due course.
Representatives of all four participating teams were present at the draw, either physically or virtually.
Sandra Toft of Györi Audi ETO KC is anticipating a tough encounter, "It will be difficult, Vipers are the two-time champions and it will be a great match. Our coach has the best answer how to tackle Vipers – they are the best team in the Champions League in the last two years and we have to make sure we are in top shape in 25 days. Last year, when these two teams met, I was in Paris in Disney Land but I am glad I will enjoy the full MVM Dome this time around instead."
Toft's opponent, Jamina Roberts of Vipers Kristiansand has only high praise, “There are only excellent teams at the EHF FINAL4 and we cannot really pick an easy opponent here. Györ are a superb team, I played against them last season with Sävehof and they crushed us. Last time Györ played Vipers I was watching it on my holidays in Türkiye.”
Team Esbjerg's Nora Mørk knows all about EHF FINAL4 atmospheres and is excited about the prospect of facing FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria in the 2023 edition, “It is going to be such a great experience to play against them in front of the full arena. Even though they are going to play there for the first time it will be tough. They are very unpredictable and when you meet them at their best it is extremely difficult. The key will be the preparation, we need to maintain the level we are currently at. But we really want to enjoy it."
Finally, Emily Bölk of FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria is relishing their outsider credentials, “We are the underdogs. We want to enjoy the game and an amazing atmosphere. Danish teams are renowned for their pace, they run really fast, but we hope the crowd will help us. The underdog role fits to us what we proved in the quarter-finals and if we have such a great preparation like we had ahead of the quarter-finals we can surprise again and it will be a special day for us."
EHF Champions League 2023/24 match balls revealed
The design of the official SELECT SPORT match balls for the upcoming EHF Champions League season 2023/24 has been revealed. Featuring a bold gold design inspired by the coveted EHF Champions League trophy, the SELECT SPORT balls will be used throughout the 2023/24 season, but will make their debut at the EHF FINAL4 Women in Budapest on 3/4 June. The ball is available for pre-order from Tuesday 9 May by clicking here, and will be available to purchase onsite at the EHF FINAL4 Women.
VIP and hospitality packages available
VIP tickets and hospitality options in the VIP Skybox and VIP GOLD Lounge are available for the EHF FINAL4 Women 2023.
Information and package details can be viewed on eurohandball.com.
Photos: Anikó Kovács, Hungarian Handball Federation