Baia Mare change their luck against FleuryArticle
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GROUP 1 REVIEW: Fleury lead by two at half-time only to have victory snatched in the second half by the Pineau-inspired Romanian side.

Baia Mare change their luck against Fleury

HCM Baia Mare claim their first Women’s EHF Champions League Main Round point with a win against the weary French champions in Round 1, after the visitors led by two at half-time.

HCM Baia Mare (ROM) vs Fleury Loiret Handball (FRA) 31:28 (13:15)

The enthusiastic home crowd in the sold-out arena showed that the Romanian runners-up were ready to fight from the first whistle, but Fleury Loiret Handball’s Gnonsiane Niombla and Alexandrina Cabral Barbosa quickly quietened the Maramures faithful in the opening minutes.

The Panthers’ in-form backs began a shooting contest with current top scorer of the Women’s EHF Champions League Allison Pineau. But even the efforts of the magnificent French star could not stop Fleury from holding a steady two to four-goal lead through the first period.

Beginning the main round with a home defeat would have effectively eliminated Baia Mare from any hope of a quarter-final spot, and the Romanian side therefore toughened their defence for the second half.

Saves from Ionica Munteanu inspired Melinda Geiger and Alexandra Do Nascimento to turn the game around and Baia Mare took the lead for the first time in the 40th minute.


Fleury remained composed and equalised, but Paula Ungureanu began to deny more French attempts and Baia Mare were able to remain in front when the game entered the last minutes.

The Panthers, who already played a taxing EHF Champions League match earlier this week, against Thüringer HC, struggled to keep pace with the fresh legs of Baia Mare but the home side were still on a short leash.

In the thrilling closing minutes Baia Mare emerged as winners, due in large part to some trademark Ungureanu saves.

“It was a spectacular game with many turnovers. We made some mistakes, therefore giving our opponents the chance to take the lead,” said Baia Mare coach Aurelian Rosca.

“In the second part of the game we played with greater precision, winning our first points in the main round. We are very happy for this victory as every single point really counts for us.”

Baia Mare claim their first points of the main round with the win and leapfrog Thüringer into fifth place, while Fleury remain fourth after only their second defeat in the competition.

TEXT: Bence Martha / cg