Baia Mare open with straightforward win over LublinArticle
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MATCH REVIEW: Romanian favourites overcome slow start to claim the first two points of this season's Women's EHF Champions League

Baia Mare open with straightforward win over Lublin

Despite taking the lead for the first time after 26 minutes, HCM Baia Mare won the first game of this season’s Women’s EHF Champions League by a five-goal margin against Polish champions, MKS Selgros Lublin

Women’s EHF Champions League Group D

HCM Baia Mare (ROU) vs MKS Selgros Lublin (POL) 30:25 (16:12)

The first play of the anthem of this year’s Women’s EHF Champions League was greeted with cheers and a lot of applause in Baia Mare’s Lascăr Pană hall.

But the Romanian fans had little to cheer for in the first part of the clash between the Romanian and the Polish champions. With a full team, Baia Mare was dominated by MKS Selgros Lublin. The Romanians’ flaws were clear: with a new look, Baia Mare had little time to gel.

Therefore, Lublin’s chance was there to take, and Sabina Wlodek’s team took advantage early on. After only ten minutes, the Polish side took a commanding 7:4 lead. Baia Mare’s woes were far from over, while Geca and Kocela were bombing Ungureanu’s goal from 9 meters or from devastating counterattacks.


However, a smart time-out taken by Baia Mare’s coach Costică Buceschi sparked Baia Mare’s comeback.

In 11 minutes, Lublin scored only three times, while Baia Mare managed to score eight goals, taking the lead for the first time in the 26th minute, after a beautiful goal scored by Hungarian left back Gabriella Szucs.

The half-time lead was four goals, 16:12, after a great finish to the half by Baia Mare, scoring from the wings, the line and from the backcourt.

Baia Mare’s experience and the depth of the bench proved to be decisive in the second half. While the Polish side faded, Geca, Kocela and Malek having difficulties maintaining the same rhythm for 60 minutes, Baia Mare extended the lead to a maximum of seven goals.

"I didn’t think we will lose the game, because we prepared very well this match. We knew their strengths and weaknesses and we knew that they only have seven players; their bench is not so good. However, Baia Mare has 14 players near the same value and this was seen during the game,” explained HCM Baia Mare coach Costică Buceschi.

Even with the second-string players on the court, the Romanian side could relax a little in the end, leading to the final difference of only five goals, 30:25.

“It was a slow start for us, but we made a comeback and a win is a win. It is very important to have good results at the start of the group and we are thinking now about future games,” said Baia Mare goalkeeper Paula Ungureanu.

This win sees Baia Mare maintain a great percentage of wins in the Women’s EHF Champions League at home, 75%, with three wins in four matches during the last two seasons.

In the second week of the group, Baia Mare will play against Metz Handball on Saturday, while MKS Selgros Lublin will host Larvik the next Friday.

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / cor