Györ seal third win in a row; FTC lose third game in a row
There were mixed fortunes for the top two Hungarian sides in the EHF Champions League Women, as Györi Audi ETO KC sealed their third win in a row in impressive fashion over CSM Bucuresti, 27:23, while FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria conceded their third consecutive loss, 32:24, against Krim Mercator Ljubljana.
Elsewhere, in another crunch clash, Team Esbjerg managed to outpace Metz Handball, despite their obvious injury issues and lack of depth, pulling out a strong win, thanks to outstanding defence in the closing stages of the match, 29:26.
- CSM have lost two of their first three matches for the third time in the nine seasons they have played in the European premium competition, with the previous seasons being 2016/17, when they won the title, and 2021/22, when they only got to the quarter-finals
- Györ and Krim are the only sides to start with three-game winning streaks, but Odense and SG BBM Bietigheim may join them tomorrow
- Krim last started the season with three wins in a row in the 2009/10 season, when they won against Metz, Aalborg and Hypo, but later failed to make it further than the main round of the European premium competition
- the previous season when FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria started with three losses in a row was in 2007/08, when the Hungarian side was eliminated in the group phase of the EHF Champions League Women
- Krim’s wing, Tamara Mavsar, who has returned to the European premium competition for the first time in four seasons, is the top scorer after three rounds, with 20 goals scored; two more than CSM’s Cristina Neagu and Metz’s Chloe Valentini
Györ continued their excellent start of the season with their third consecutive win and their most important so far, 27:23, in the Match of the Week against CSM Bucuresti. It was Györ’s ninth win in 11 matches against the Romanian side, and came thanks to an excellent collective effort, sperheaded by line player Kari Brattset Dale, who scored seven goals. On the other hand, CSM’s star, Cristina Neagu, had only five goals, yet is still second in terms of goals scored this season, with 18 in three matches. The Romanian side still needs to figure out what is wrong with their attack, as they've only scored 47 goals in the past two matches, losses against Bietigheim and Györ.
The game with Gyor was a real challenge very early in the season and it brought many good things to the table. We can see from this game what things we have to improve and also take the good parts. It is important that we continue to work smarter and harder!
I'm happy with the way we started the match, but it's the first 15 minutes that make me proud. We played smart in the end and that's why we were able to win the game.
Trying to fix a defence which leaked 75 goals in the first two matches was a priority for FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria, but it came with a price as their attack failed to really get going against Krim Mercator Ljubljana. Dragan Adzic has finally shaped his team the way he wants to – true warriors with a keen eye on defence, as Krim has conceded only 68 goals in their first three matches of the season, an average of just 22.6 goals per match. On the other hand, Martin Albertsen, FTC’s new coach, has a mountain to climb, as the Hungarian side has now started the season with three losses in a row for the first time in 15 years. Surprisingly, the Hungarian side is the only team to have conceded triple digit goals – 107 – so far in the competition.
It was not the performance we wanted. We came for two points and we didn't get them. I think we have to change a lot because this is our third defeat in a row, which is unacceptable for us.
After scoring 14 goals in her appearances over the past three seasons in the EHF Champions League Women, left wing Mina Hesselberg had the best outing in her career for Vipers, scoring seven goals in the clear 33:20 win over Zaglebie Lubin. Katrine Lunde also pulled off an outstanding match, with 17 saves, for a 53% saving efficiency to help Vipers clinch another win. The Polish side is now on a three-game losing streak and this was by far the clearest loss, with Vipers exuding experience and confidence throughout most of the match. With a clear advantage of depth, the reigning champions had no issues in disposing their rivals for their second straight win, after dropping their first match against Herning-Ikast.
They say defence wins championships, and this time around it was the defence which sealed the win for Team Esbjerg. The Danish side conceded 17 goals in the first half, but in the 2nd half they kept Metz scoreless for nearly eight minutes, between the 48th and the 57th minutes, as Esbjerg stood strong and closed all the lanes. With the French side scoring only nine goals in the second half, Henny Reistad took over the game, as the left back had eight goals for an excellent performance.
We need a win to bounce back. Nothing is lost, but we need to move on and learn from this.