Midtjylland reach main round as Buducnost edge closerArticle
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ROUND REVIEW: Danish team clinched the berth after a 26:25 win over FTC as Hungarian team are on the brink of the elimination of the European top flight

Midtjylland reach Main Round as Buducnost edge closer

A resurgent FC Midtjylland sailed into the last eight of the women’s EHF Champions League and Buducnost Podgorica made a big step in that direction after both teams won their respective Group B matches in rather contrasting fashion on Saturday.

While 2012 Buducnost overwhelmed Polish rivals Lublin thanks to a well balanced team effort that kept them ahead throughout the match, Midtjylland prevailed in a rollercoaster at FTC and stunned the Hungarian side with a majestic defensive performance.

Midtjylland have an overall 3-1 head-to head record against Buducnost and FTC, hence they will go through no matter what they do in their last game at home to written-off Lublin.

The clash of titans from Montenegro and Hungary in Podgorica when Buducnost take on FTC on home court in the final round will decide which of these two teams will join the Danish flag carriers.   

Group B

MKS Selgros Lublin (POL) vs Buducnost Podgorica (MNE) 22:30 (12:13)
In Lublin

The 2012 EHF Champions League winners boosted their hopes of sealing a Main Round berth from a tough group after a confident performance at Lublin, in which right wing Radmila Petrovic stood out with eight goals.

A balanced introduction, in which Buducnost kept nosing ahead into a one-goal advantage, made way for blistering one-way traffic by the Montenegrin title holders who resembled the outfit that won Europe’s premier club competition as they raced into an 8:3 lead.

Lublin, however, launched a spirited fightback and slashed the deficit back to a single goal by halftime, with Belarus right back Alesia Mihdaliova leading the charge.

Any hopes the home team had of snatching their first points of the campaign were vanquished by another Buducnost onslaught, with line player Dragana Cvijic as well as backcourt shooters Cristina Neagu and Camilla Dalby chipping in with four goals each.

With three wins and two defeats on the account ahead of their decisive home game against FTC Rail Cargo Hungaria, Buducnost will need all virtues to advance into the last eight of the competition.

Once again, their hopes will in all likelihood rest on the broad shoulders of effervescent goalkeeper Clara Woltering, who was at the heart of yet another success with a stunning 60 percent save ratio.

Mihdalieva topped Lublin with seven goals while Dorota Malek and Kamila Skrzyniarz netted four apiece, but Lublin just didn’t have enough in the tank to keep up with a more resourceful Buducnost team firing on all cylinders.

“We are very satisfied as we won a hard game in Poland after a long trip to get here,” Buducnost coach Dragan Adzic told reporters after the match.
“Now we have to focus on our next opponent to qualify for the Main Round, he added.

His Lublin counterpart Sabina Wlodek conceded that inconsistency had cost her side dearly throughout the group matches. “Once again we couldn't display stability for 60 minutes as we were having ups and downs in this match too,” she said.

Buducnost’s Polish acquisition Kinga Byzdra said she had warned her team of the threat Lublin could pose on home court. “We saw Lublin in home games against FTC and FC Midtjylland and I told my new team mates that we’d be up against a good side,” Byzdra pointed out.
FTC Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) vs FC Midtjylland (DEN) 25:26 (10:13)
In Dabas  

Midtjylland bounced back from last weekend’s crushing defeat at Buducnost Podgorica  in the most emphatic way, grinding out a priceless win at FTC Rail Cargo Hungaria which steered them into the Main Round with a match to spare.

The Danish contenders now face what looks like a simple task of avoiding defeat in their final game at home to Lublin to secure the top spot, while FTC are looking at a daunting trip to Buducnost where they must get at least a draw if they are to join their conquerors in the last eight.

The encounter got off to a physical start in which Midtjylland took a 5:3 lead only for FTC to turn the tide and romp ahead 9:6 before one final twist in the first half saw the visitors enginneer a 7:1 run, giving them a three-goal cushion at the interval.

Despite boisterous support from their fans, FTC struggled to keep up after the break and Midtjylland, whose quick transition of the ball kept creating problems for the hosts, were able to extend their advantage to 18:13 midway through the second half.

Trailing 25:21 in the closing stages, the home team launched one final attempt to swing the game on its head but it came too late and the buzzer signalled the start of joyful celebrations by Midtjylland, as they booked their second group stage ticket.

Cornelia Groot led the visitors with seven goals and Simone Rasmussen added five, while Nerrea Pena Abaurrea scored a game-high eight goals for FTC, whose top scorer in the competition Zsuzsanna Tomori contributed with a modest four.

TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / br