Champions show true colours at LarvikArticle
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MATCH REVIEW: Györ are back on the winning track as they beat Larvik in the rematch of the least season's final.

Champions show true colours at Larvik

EHF Champions League holders Györ may have treated their fans to a bit of a cold shower in a home draw with 2012 winners Buducnost last weekend but showed their true colours in an impressive 29:23 victory at Larvik on Friday.

Group 2
Larvik (NOR) vs Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN) 23:29 (13:18)

The match was preceded by an emotional tribute to the deceased Karl Erik Bhn, who died of cancer at the age of 48 last weekend. Bohn coached both Larvik and Györ as well as the Hungarian national team. The ceremony included a two-minute video showing highlights of his illustrious career and a mandatory minute of silence before the throw-off.

Larvik got off to a flying start and raced into a 3:0 lead but Györ soon regained their composure as Katrine Lunde produced one superb save after another to frustrate her Norwegian compatriots.

Battle of daughters

With the visitors redressing the balance and taking a 6:4 lead after 10 minutes, the expected titanic clash ensued with rivals exchanging goals as Arnt Loke, the father of Györ pivot Heidi and her Larvik counterpart Lise, watched his daughters face each other in European competition for the first time.

Sitting in the jam-packed Larvik Arena including several hundred vociferous Györ fans, Mr. Loke wore a specially tailored jersey with the colours of both teams and the shirt numbers of both his daughters displayed on the front.

Heidi had much more to cheer about in the latter stages of the first half, when Gyor romped away into a five-goal advantage thanks to clinical finishing and ingenious passing by their playmaker Anita Görbicz, easily the best player of the match alongside the evergreen Lunde.

One woman show

Larvik restored some hope of turning the match their way after three goals without reply cut the deficit to 16:18 shortly after the break, but their joy was short-lived as Görbicz ignited a 6:0 run which put the game out of the home team’s reach.

A late rally sparked by Linn Jorum Sulland, who picked up where Nora Mork and Anja Hammerseng-Edin left off for Larvik, added some respectability to the scoreline in the closing stages, when Györ appeared to take their feet off the gas pedal.

The visitors scored only goal in the last 15 minutes but the damage had already been done as Gorbicz kept finding gaps in Larvik’s defence almost at will, finding Loke and right wing Adrienn Orban with no-look passes as effortlessly as she pierced through the home team’s armour with dazzling solo runs.

Görbicz finished as the game’s top scorer with eight goals to put her team in the driving seat of the group with three points from two games ahead of Sunday’s clash between Buducnost and Krim Mercator.

Krim have two points after beating Larvik at home last weekend while Buducnost have one from their tie at Györ, hence the upcoming matches guarantee a fascinating battle for two FINAL4 berths.   

TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / br