Baia Mare brimming with confidence ahead of Friday night showdownArticle
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FEATURE: Costica Buceschi, Baia Mare’s coach, implies that Metz is not the strongest team in the group, as the French side travels to Romania in search of a positive result to qualify for the Women’s EHF Champions League Main Round

Baia Mare brimming with confidence ahead of Friday night showdown

Metz Handball will have to earn at least a draw in Baia Mare on Friday to maintain their hopes of proceeding to the next round of the Women’s EHF Champions League. However, the Romanian powerhouse’s objective is to avenge the 10-goal drubbing in France, in Round 2.

A sold-out arena, 60 minutes of intense handball and a do-or-die game for both teams. The ingredients for one of the most exciting matches in this year’s competition are there for an action-packed Friday night between HCM Baia Mare and Metz Handball.

The Romanian powerhouse emerged as one of Group D’s favourites after an impressive transfer period over summer, but the results have yet to come. However, history was made, as the first away win in Baia Mare’s history in the European’s top flight competition came last Sunday, against MKS Selgros Lublin.

“It was a huge relief for us. The players’ morale skyrocketed after the win. We are now confident that we can win against Metz,” coach Costică Buceschi told

After two wins, both against Lublin, in Group D’s first five rounds, Baia Mare is sitting in the second place, but a defeat against Metz and a Polish win at Larvik would throw the Romanian champions out of the competition.

The most important game” paradox

“It’s a paradox. This game could be branded as one of the most important in our team’s history, but we played against better teams in the last two Women’s EHF Champions League seasons.

“Take a look at Györ, for example, we hosted them last year and they went to clinch the trophy. Larvik is also better than Metz,” said Buceschi.

However, Baia Mare is eyeing its fourth win in sixth matches at home in the European’s premier competition, losing previously only against the aforementioned sides in Romania.

“Revenge is on the cards. We did not understand what happened in Metz, when we lost, 24:34. It was a humiliating defeat, but the girls learnt something and are confident that we will win.

“Metz is not the best team in our group, it has already been proven. However, we want to win in order to confirm our second place in the group and go into the Main Round with four points,” added Baia Mare’s coach, seconded by goalkeeper Paula Ungureanu.

“We lost by a ten-goal margin in the first leg and our objective is to avenge that defeat. We are preparing for that,” added Ungureanu, who was Baia Mare’s best player against Lublin.

Steluța Luca, Romanian ambassador for the Women’s EHF EURO 2014

EHF EURO 2014, which will take place in Croatia and Hungary is just around the corner, as the countdown for the tournament due to start on 7 December has started.

Steluta Luca, Oltchim Râmnicu Vâlcea’s former right back, and one of the most popular players in Romania’s history, was selected as an EHF EURO ambassador for Romania and will be present on Friday in Baia Mare.

On her official Facebook page, Luca has already started promoting Romania’s games scheduled in Debrecen, while in Baia Mare she will inform the fans about the possibility to win tickets for the games against Denmark, Norway and Ukraine.

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / cor