FTC seal clear win to stay in quarter-final hunt
FTC’s three losses came in the last five games, but the Hungarian champions set on a last-ditch attempt to secure a quarter-final berth with a 33:29 win over HC Podravka Vegeta on Wednesday night, handing the Croatian team their 12th consecutive loss.
- Podravka used a 4:0 run early in the first half to take control of the game, but had to mount a comeback inspired by centre back Dejana Milosavljevic to secure a 16:15 lead at the break
- scoring her 200th goal in the DELO EHF Champions League, in her fourth season in the premium European competition, Milosavljevic had her best outing of the season, putting 11 goals past FTC — the first time she has scored in double digits since November 2020
- FTC’s superior depth and experience were crucial in the game, with a 5:1 run between the 37th and the 42nd minute of the second half being the backbone for their win
- scoring six goals against Podravka, right wing Angela Malestein jumped to joint-seventh place on the top goal scorer standings of the season, with a 68-goal tally
- to progress to the quarter-finals from second place, FTC need a win in the last game of the group phase against Dortmund and Brest Bretagne Handball to win against Rostov-Don on Saturday
FTC stay alive with first away win since October 2021
FTC could only muster a draw against Rostov-Don in round 12, which seriously hampered their chances of progression to the quarter-finals. But with an easier schedule to finish the group phase, the Hungarian side are now back in business. Their win against Podravka was the first away since October 2021, after three consecutive losses on other teams’ courts.
Podravka were ahead at the break for only the second time this season. But with a great outing from goalkeeper Kinga Janurik, who saved 14 shots for a 35 per cent efficiency, the Hungarian side pulled ahead in the second half and sealed their seventh win of the season.
Obligatory winning is the most difficult. We had the information that Podravka have a lot of problems with injured players and Covid. Because of this we tried to share the tasks inside the team and think we could win the game because of the more number of players. It was very important for us to win the match and take these two points but we made a lot of stupid mistakes in attack and defence and in changing of the players, so if we want to have a good game on Saturday at home we have to step forward in a lot of different aspects.