Consistent Györ stay in the hunt for top spotArticle
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GROUP 2 REVIEW: Hungarian giants Gyori Audi ETO KC overcame a slow start to defeat IK Sävehof, who fought bravely in a high-scoring contest.

Consistent Györ stay in the hunt for top spot

Gyori Audi ETO KC stayed in contention for the section’s top spot after fighting back from an early deficit to beat Swedish rivals IK Sävehof, who remained at the bottom of the table in Group 2.

Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN) vs IK Sävehof (SWE) 32:26 (19:14)

Despite the continued absence of Zsuzsanna Tomori and Anita Görbicz, Györ ground out another home win. However, they survived several scares from IK Sävehof, who made a blistering start and produced a spirited finish in Hungary.

The result left Györi level on 13 points with leaders Buducnost, whose game in hand is Sunday’s eagerly awaited regional derby against HC Vardar in Skopje.

Devoid of any pressure, Sävehof came out with all guns blazing and raced into a 6:4 lead as Linnea Petterson and Julia Eriksson made life difficult for the home side’s reserve keeper, Eva Kiss, with long-range efforts.

Györ relied on towering Norwegian back Ida Alstad to keep them afloat with flawless penalty shooting and when Dutch prodigy Nycke Groot got going, the home team quickly turned the tide and carved out a two-goal lead.

With the score 16:14 to the home side, Kiss made way for Kari Aalvik Grimsbo and that turned out to be the game’s key moment. Györ had a 10:2 streak either side of the interval to get into the driving seat.

Coach Ambros Martin also played a part, having told his players during an early timeout that they were giving their opponents too much space in attack, hence the former European champions plugged the leaks and scored a barrage of easy goals from fast breaks.

"We can’t be satisfied with our defence but weaker match starts can come up in such a long series," Martin said. "We try to improve our shape from match to match.”

Sävehof fought as hard as they could to keep the scoreline respectable and the outstanding Eriksson rifled in a spectacular goal from 10 metres to reduce the deficit to 27:20 midway through an entertaining second half.

Sävehof scored again in their next possession which forced Martin to demand tighter defence once more, but his team looked rather flat after the time-out.

"In the second half we could improve our defence and have shown our class with a 10-goal advantage but we have slept and lost it," Györ centre back Nycke Groot said.

Having built a massive lead, Györ took their feet off the gas pedal and allowed the visitors to slash the gap to 29:26, with their coach clearly displeased with his team.

Only then did the favourites find another gear and sealed their victory in the last five minutes, with Alstad and Groot leading the way on six goals each for Györ.

Three other home players chipped in with four goals each, while the superb  Eriksson netted a game-high seven for Sävehof.

"I’m quite satisfied with our attack," Sävehof coach Henrik Signell said. "The defence was not so good but against such an excellent team like Györ, it’s very difficult to play."

TEXT: Zoran Milosavljevic / ew