20220910

Eight clubs aim for their first win of the season

EHF / Adrian Costeiu, Danijela Lemaić

After an exciting first week in the EHF Champions League Women, round 2’s Match of the Week features two teams that secured wins in round 1, SG BBM Bietigheim and FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria.

Group A also brings an interesting tie between Brest Bretagne Handball and CSM Bucuresti, a match featuring two sides that look to be taking different turns in the competition.

The group B spotlight will be on WHC Buducnost BEMAX vs Team Esbjerg. The Danish EHF FINAL4 2022 participants will want to secure their first win this season win after a narrow home defeat by Györ last Sunday.

GROUP A

MOTW: SG BBM Bietigheim (GER) vs FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN)
Sunday 18 September, 14:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • the German side had the best attack of the first week, scoring a record 46 goals against Most – the second best-ever outing for a side in the history of the competition
  • Bietigheim’s previous biggest-ever win was a 35:24 rout on FTC’s home court in the 2020/21 season
  • hosting the Match of the Week, Bietigheim are riding a 13-game winning streak in European competitions, dating back to last season, when they secured the EHF European League Women title
  • Bietigheim’s goalkeeper, Melinda Szikora, who had a 35.2 per cent saving efficiency in the first match against Most, played six years for FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria between 2013 and 2019, winning the Hungarian league and the Hungarian Cup
  • the German side had the highest scoring efficiency in the first round, 76.7 per cent, scoring 46 goals from 60 shots, while FTC placed tenth in the standings, with only 57.4 per cent
  • the two sides have met six times in the European premium competition over the past five seasons, with Bietigheim winning two games and FTC the other four matches

Krim Mercator Ljubljana (SLO) vs Vipers Kristiansand (NOR)
Sunday 18 September, 14:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • after losing to CSM in the first match of the season, Krim will try to avoid starting with two losses in the first two matches for the second time in the past seven seasons in the European premium competition
  • the reigning champions had a strong outing in the first round, taking a 31:24 win against Brest Bretagne Handball. The reigning MVP of the EHF FINAL4, left back Markéta Jerábková, scored a game-high nine goals
  • the Norwegian powerhouse boasts a seven-game winning streak in the Champions League, their longest-ever in the history of the competition
  • Krim have lost four of the last five Champions League games, including two against Vipers in last season’s quarter-finals, with an aggregate of 65:49
  • Vipers have an overwhelming advantage in the head-to-head battles in European competitions, winning nine games out of 10 between the two sides, including the last eight in a row

Brest Bretagne Handball (FRA) vs CSM Bucuresti (ROU)
Sunday 18 September, 16:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • CSM can record their best start in the Champions League since 2017/18 – the last season in which they made the cut for the EHF FINAL4 – by winning their first two games
  • the French side conceded only two home losses in their last 24 matches in the European top competition, becoming a force to be reckoned with in the Brest Arena
  • Brest have a single win in the past five games played in the European premium competition, after losing the first match of the season, against Vipers
  • left back Kalidiatou Niakate, who signed this summer for CSM, will make her comeback in the Brest Arena, after playing for the French side between 2019 and 2022
  • CSM lost both games played against Brest last season, 21:24 in France and 29:30 at home, and are searching for their first win against the French side

Odense Håndbold (DEN) vs DHK Banik Most (CZE)
Sunday 18 September, 16:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Most started the season with a 23-goal loss against Bietigheim, the fourth-largest in the history of the competition, three goals shy of the record set by FTC against Anagennisi Artas in 1997
  • in their previous four seasons in the Champions League, Odense have never started with two losses in a row
  • the two sides are sitting 14th and 15th out of 16 teams in the number of goals scored in the first round, 23, with Odense having a slightly better efficiency (54.8 per cent) than Most’s 46.9 per cent, the lowest in the competition
  • Odense are now on a two-game losing run and could tie their worst-ever losing run in the competition, three games, set in November 2019
  • in the Danish league, Odense have been dominating and are leading the standings, with four wins out of four games and a +51 goal difference, after Wednesday’s win against Ringkøbing, 36:23
20220911 Team Esbjerg Gyor Audi ETO KC Jensen

GROUP B

WHC Buducnost BEMAX (MNE) vs Team Esbjerg (DEN)
Saturday 17 September, 16:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • Esbjerg won both encounters in the 2021/22 Champions League, 35:20 and 36:25
  • Buducnost easily won their first match of the season with the best attack in the group, leaving Kastamonu without a hope
  • Buducnost have not won their first two matches in the Champions League group phase since 2016/17, when they eventually made the EHF FINAL4
  • Esbjerg were close to beating Györ in the opening but could not stop the opponents’ fast-breaks
  • Esbjerg had a warmup against København in the domestic league, winning by eight goals
We need to be ready in order to get points in Podgorica. Our defence is looking good, but our offence has been lacking in the home league, and that needs to be working to get the points. We still lack a bit of timing but for each match and each day I feel we improve a lot.
Nora Mørk
Left back, Esbjerg

Storhamar Handball Elite (NOR) vs HC Lokomotiva Zagreb (CRO)
Saturday 17 September, 18:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • both teams seek their first-ever Champions League win. In round 1 Storhamar lost to Metz, while Lokomotiva were beaten by Rapid Bucuresti
  • the two sides have never met before in European competitions
  • Zagreb, the youngest team in the Champions League, travel to Norway after a home win over Split in the domestic championship which was played only a day after their match against Rapid
  • Storhamar played a nail-biting game with Larvik in Norway, ending in a draw
  • the Norwegian side scored the fewest goals in round 1, only 22
We have a very serious team waiting for us with good outside shooters and a good one-on-one play and we have to play like we did against Rapid to be in the game. We will have to put in a lot of effort in defence because everything starts from defence, defence wins.
Lena Ivancok
Goalkeeper, Zagreb

CS Rapid Bucuresti (ROU) vs Metz Handball (FRA)
Sunday 18 September, 14:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • both teams opened the new CL season with a win: Rapid Bucuresti took two points in Zagreb, while Metz overran Storhamar on their home court
  • this will be the first encounter between the two
  • Metz continued their strong performance in the French competition this week, beating St Amand 34:30
  • Bucuresti had a whole week without any domestic matches, enabling them to focus on preparing for Metz and holding on to their winning perfect streak
  • last season Metz started with a defeat before improving; this year the second-youngest team had a good start and are aiming high

Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN) vs Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK (TUR)
Sunday 18 September, 16:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • in their second Champions League season Kastamonu are yet to pick up a point, and could see their streak extend to 16 matches if Györ win
  • last week the Turkish club lost 27:40 to Buducnost at home
  • the Hungarian team started the season with a narrow win against Esbjerg, powered by good saves by Sandra Toft and fastbreaks
  • in the 2021/22 season Györ won both matches between the two sides, including a 37:20 home win
  • ahead of the match, Györ defeated Siófok by 33:26, while Kastamonu are struggling with some injuries

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