Győr and FCM with strong performancesArticle
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Dinamo and Randers also victorious on Day 2 in Round 4 of the EHF Women´s Champions League.

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Győr and FCM with strong performances

FC Midtjylland had absolutely no problem in defeating the German champions Thüringer HC, whilst Dinamo stopped the great run of the Romanians by beating Oltchim Vâlcea.

In Group C, Randers won again over Hypo in a goal-rich clash, whilst Győri Audi ETO finally showed their enormous strength, giving no chance to Metz.

Group A

Thüringer HC (GER) vs. FC Midtjylland (DEN) 21:27 (8:13)

Despite a terrible weekday performance in their domestic league, the Danes showed their best against a disappointing German side and easily brought home the victory. With one further point in the next rounds, they’ll qualify for the top 8, whilst THC are still without points and without chance to move on to the Main Round.

A more combative and enthusiastic FCM presented itself in Germany and took the initiative from the early minutes onwards. Coach Ryan Zinglersen´s team was much better in every aspect of the game, and with a rock-solid defence, the Danes started several fast-breaks, giving their wing players clear-cut chances to score.

The host didn´t have a real catch-up phase, their players lacking in energy and ideas to close the gap. They also failed to show the usual fighting spirit from the previous games. FCM controlled the game throughout the whole period, and with Sabine Englert between the sticks, they had the best player on the field.

Additionally, the long-term injured Lærke Møller returned to the court with 4 goals, the gifted playmaker celebrating a pleasing comeback, which is, besides today´s result, the most welcome news for the Danish champions.

Group C

Randers HK (DEN) vs. Hypo Niederösterreich (AUT) 39:32 (18:15)

Despite fluctuations in the match, the Danes defeated Austrian champions Hypo in a goal-rich clash and lead the group with six points prior to two tough away games against Győri Audi ETO and Metz.

Randers had several quality phases in the match, but some complacency seemed to set in after they established some good leads. This allowed the Austrians to immediately close the gap. Camilla Dalby and her colleagues had a comfortable lead of 14:7, but within eight minutes their opponents had reduced the gap to 18:15.

The Danes had the better start to the second half, but the Brazilian-dominated Hypo team, given too much space, struck back immediately to make it 21:25.

The final phase belonged to Randers, and with her fifth goal, Katrine Fruelund sealed the match, 39:32.

Metz Handball (FRA) vs. Győri Audi ETO (HUN) 24:33 (7:17)

Big smiles were on Hungarian faces during the match as Győr were superior and had pre-decided the match after about 20 minutes. They outclassed Metz in a one-sided affair.

Powerhouse AUDI ETO were under great pressure before this clash, as they had not shown their expected strength in the EHF Champions League this season, and they were also missing goalkeeper Katalin Pálinger and left-winger Orsolya Vérten today.

Nevertheless, coach Csaba Konkoly´s side seemed to click today: the back-court led by Andrea Lekić impressed, and Anita Görbicz brought a super performance to both wing and centre-back positions. Their team-mates also contributed well to the impressive Hungarian victory.

The French side missed Marion Limal and had massive problems at the central positions. The distance shots were either far from Katrine Lunde Haraldsen, or were saved by the Norwegian international with great efficiency. Furthermore, coach Sébastien Gardillou´s bench was too short today, and the reserve players were unable to replace the underperforming first line-up.

Next weekend, Győr will host Randers, whilst Hypo will welcome Metz.

Group D

Dinamo Volgograd (RUS) vs. C.S. Oltchim Rm. Vâlcea (ROU) 34:30 (16:15)

Romania´s champions Oltchim missed this chance to qualify for the top 8 after four rounds, whilst Dinamo maintained their chances for a Main Round spot.

The Romanians looked strong in the first three rounds, but in today´s match in Russia, they lacked power against a strong Dinamo team. The Russians showcased their best form from the back-court, with their quality trio of Tatiana Khmyrova, Olga Levina and Anna Kochetova.

There was no question during the 60 minutes who would leave the court as the winner, as coach Victor Ryabykh´s team showed a much improved performance. His side acted faster in attacks, and the physical work that Anna Sedoykina and her team-mates undertook during the last few weeks has clearly paid off.

On Oltchim´s side, only right winger Adriana Nechita brought-out her best form. Other than her, the away side lacked a real leader in this duel.

The Romanians shouldn´t worry though, as they still have their fate in their own hands. With one point against Buxtehuder SV next weekend, Radu Voina´s team could qualify for the Main Round.

Summary after four rounds:

After Oltchim´s away defeat, Budućnost Podgorica remain the only undefeated team in the EHF Women´s Champions League, whilst the two German clubs, Thüringer HC and Buxtehuder SV, and the Austrian champions Hypo, are still without points.

Two more rounds, and the final decisions regarding Main Round places and Cup Winners´ Cup spots will follow during the next few weekends.

TEXT: Márk Hegedüs