Epic comeback gives Baia Mare hopeArticle
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QUARTER FINAL REVIEW: Three goals scored in the last 49 seconds of the game saw HCM Baia Mare rise from the ashes and edge Dinamo-Sinara by a two-goal margin

Epic comeback gives Baia Mare hope

HCM Baia Mare’s hopes for a maiden MVM EHF FINAL4 berth have been boosted by a two-minute turnaround in at the end of their home leg against Dinamo-Sinara. The Romanian champions, who had been trailing for 45 minutes, took advantage of Dinamo’s shortcomings and take a two-goal lead into the second leg.

Women’s EHF Champions League Quarter-final Leg 1
HCM Baia Mare (ROU) vs Dinamo-Sinara (RUS) 25:23 (11:12)

“If Baia Mare want to qualify for the FINAL4, the team has to be balanced and focused for 60 minutes.”

Tone Tiselj’s pre-match call for composure for 60 minutes was far from what happened on the court, but the Romanian champions still managed to emerge victorious from the first leg of their quarter-final tie against the Russian powerhouse.

With Dinamo’s three-pronged attack expected to be their top weapon, the Romanian champions never expected a lively performance from Tunisian line player Asma El Ghaoui. The African rookie was Viktor Ryabykh’s joker in the first minutes of the game and helped Dinamo stay on course after a spirited start from Baia Mare.

However, it was Anna Kochetova who took the Russian side all the way in Baia Mare. A flawless defensive performance and four goals from Dinamo’s sharpshooter saw the guests sail away to a three-goal lead in the 22nd minute, 10:7.

The Romanians’ woes continued in attack, as neither Davydenko nor Abbingh could find the key to score. With an amazing Sedoykina between the posts, who had a 40 per cent save rate for the game, Dinamo continued to stay on top and even cruised to a three-goal lead, 17:14, after a six-minute goal drought for Baia Mare.

But Dinamo’s lack of options from the bench proved to be decisive in the final minutes. Both Kochetova (seven goals) and Akopian (six), the Russian side's top scorers, were nowhere to be found in attack in the last two minutes.

It was a masterful timeout that changed the outcome of the game. As the guests were leading 23:22, Tiselj stopped the game and asked his team to fight for every ball in defence and be as clinical as possible in attack.

With 3,000 fans behind them, Marin, do Nascimento and Lobach, top scorer with five goals, scored in the last 49 seconds to seal an epic comeback for Baia Mare, 25:23. They now take a two-goal lead into the second leg, which will take place in Volgograd next Saturday.

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / cor