The loudest fans and the best attack await GyörArticle
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QUARTER-FINAL PREVIEW: Ferencváros take on Győr as Hungarian champions to continue the domestic rivalry in the Women’s EHF Champions League quarter-finals.

The loudest fans and the best attack await Györ

Group 2 runners-up Györ travel to Budapest to lock horns with Group 1 third-placed Ferencváros in the quarter-final of the Women’s EHF Champions League. FTC claim to be underdogs but their home support and fast attacks can take them far against the yet again injury-hit Györ.

FTC-Rail Cargo Hungária (HUN) vs Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN)
Saturday 2 March, 15.00h local time, live on ehfTV

After eight years Ferencváros managed to dethronise Györ in 2015 but despite FTC await the quarter-final clash with their domestic arch-rivals as Hungarian title holders, Györ seem to be the favourites to reach the FINAL4 in Budapest.

Ferencváros had a great run in the Women’s EHF Champions League, however, top drawer performances were usually delivered at home. FTC lost  only one point at home during the entire season but managed to win just once against main round opponents. "Away form is a major problem for us but as long as we can make up for it at home, I am content with our overall performance,” claimed Gábor Elek, head coach of FTC.

Ambros Martín knows about his opponents’ tendency to stumble in away games but the Spanish coach is more concerned about the intimidating atmosphere created by the Ferencváros faithful.

"We want to be the first team to defeat FTC in their home. If you take a look at the list of teams that failed the mission you will have a better picture of how strong Gábor Elek’s team really is,” referred Martín to the likes of Larvik, Baia Mare, Fleury Loiret and Thüringer.

However, Martín claims FTC deserve the support they get. According to the Györ coach FTC are one of the top teams of the Women’s EHF Champions League. "They attack brilliantly. If you don’t concentrate 100 percent in defence, they will get you. Our defence will surely have a hard time stopping their attacks.”

Ferencváros are the top scorers of the Champions League as none of the main round outfits managed to score more goals (282) than the Budapest greens.

It must be added that FTC haven’t yet met a defence as compact, tall and massive as Györ’s. Ambros Martín, who once again had to start building a team almost from scratch, lost Zsuzsa Tomori but his team’s back line remained composed all season long. "They have the tallest wall in women’s handball and there are two excellent goalkeepers behind it.”

"Needless to say, they make use of their outstanding defence by scoring a lot of fastbreak goals. Judging by our match in the Hungarian league last weekend this is something we need to work on,” said Elek, whose team suffered a heavy defeat (22:33) in Györ.

Statistics back the opinion: only Buducnost conceded less goals than Győr, whose 230 is 42 less than FTC’s 272.

Kari Aalvik Grimsbö obviously has a lot to do with that, the Norwegian goalkeeper is in top form and could make life difficult for Nerea Pena, Szandra Szöllösi Zácsik and Zita Szucsánszki.

However, the goalie of Ferencváros is also on fire, Melinda Szikora had some excellent games, most recently against Baia Mare, when she made sure FTC finish third in Group 1.

"We are overachievers, there’s no doubt about that. But I feel my players are still hungry for more and being the underdogs against Györ makes them even more determined,” added Gábor Elek.

TEXT: Bence Martha / br