Győr Beat Larvik in Spectacular GameArticle
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The Norwegian team played in top form throughout the group stage, but Győr were too strong for them. The qualification is still open.

Győr Beat Larvik in Spectacular Game

Győri Audi ETO hosted Larvik HK for the CL quarterfinals in a packed arena, and an excellent sporting atmosphere. The teams were a bit nervous at the beginning as the technical errors and the missed chances showed it, but Anita Görbicz and Linn-Kristine Riegelhuth soon picked up the rhythm, putting their exceptional skills on display.

The home side’s playmaker was leading in the scoring competition, just like her team in the overall result. Apart from Görbicz however, Győr’s backcourt players were not productive in this period, as the Norwegian defence contained them quite efficiently.  Instead, it was pivot Spiridon who could find the gaps in the wall, while Görbicz was also prolific with her unorthodox, waist-high shots. On the other side, the visitors were primarily scoring on penalties, which Riegelhuth utilized with an unwavering hand.

Defence specialist Tonje Larsen’s ankle injury changed the picture of the game: since the visitors’ wall was not so high anymore, Győr had more room for backcourt shots. Serbian international Ana Djokic was also excellent in the pivot position, while left wing Vérten scored on the counterattacks. No wonder the home side ammassed a significant lead (16th min: 12-6)

Coach Bohn had a timeout and did manage to change the course of the game: Larvik scored three consecutive goals, while Győr had a dry spell. In addition to Riegelhuth, Hilmo and Heieraas also found the cracks in the defence, so the visitors reduced the gap to three goals (halftime: 15-12).

Led by Djokic, Győr produced a 5-1 run early in the second half (37th min: 20-13). The short pivot was simply unstoppable: using the assists from Görbicz, she either scored or made a penalty for her team. However, Győr missed quite a few (6 out of 9) of these shots, so the difference did not grow at all. The other factor was the goalkeepers’ performance: both Rantala and Romanian international Guiu saved highly efficiently in this period. Eventually, the home side won by 6 goals (28-22) in a game that was really a handball celebration, in terms of game quality and sporting atmosphere as well.

TEXT: Sándor Joo (