Buducnost claim double win for third straight FINAL4Article
«Go back

QUARTER-FINAL REVIEW: After the five-goal away victory from the first leg, Buducnost had no problems finishing the job at home against HCM Baia Mare

Buducnost claim double win for third straight FINAL4

Buducnost eased into their third consecutive Women's EHF FINAL4 by recording another win over HCM Baia Mare, giving themselves a chance to defend their title.

Bad news for Buducnost, however, is a left-leg injury of Dragana Cvijic. In the next days the extent of her injury should become clear.

Buducnost (MNE) vs HCM Baia Mare (ROU) 32:25 (13:14)

Buducnost are joining HC Vardar, CSM Bucuresti and Györ Audi ETO KC in the Women’s EHF FINAL4 in Budapest in the weekend of May 7-8.

Interestingly, all four team played in the same Main Round Group 2. Buducnost defeated CSM Bucuresti twice, and recorded a win and a defeat against both HC Vardar and Györ Audi ETO KC.

"In my opinion, Györi Audi ETO KC are the undisputed favourite," Buducnost coach Dragan Adzic said.

"They proved it throughout the season, especially in important matches, and they will also host the FINAL4. We need to be ready for the first opponent in the semi-finals."

With only slim chances of eliminating Buducnost, HCM Baia Mare made the 1,000-kilometer trip to Montenegro by bus.

Also, coach Aurelian Rosca brought only 11 players to the second leg, leaving the team without injured Allison Pineau, Claudia Paula Ungureanu, Ana-Maria Tanasie, Adriana Nechita, Gabriella Szucs and Anamaria Melinda Geiger.

Since Buducnost do not have a high quality domestic championship, the game with HCM Baia Mare was also important for Dragan Adzic’s team as part of their preparation for the FINAL4 and to keep the competitive rhythm.

Before the start of the game, about 3,000 home fans gave a big applause to left wing Majda Mehmedovic, who will leave Buducnost after 11 years and join CSM Bucuresti.

Buducnost was poor in defence in the first half, enabling the guests to take the lead at half-time.

Thanks to Maria Vizitiu and Gabriela Perianu, who didn’t miss a shot in the first 13 minutes, HCM Baia Mare took a two-goal advantage for the first time at 8:6, and again at 9:7.

Buducnost came back from to lead 10:9 thanks to goals by Dragana Cvijic, Cristina Neagu and Katarina Bulatovic.

The Romanian team went two clear again after 24 minutes (12:10).

When HCM Baia Mare line player Katarina Jezic, who is a former Buducnost player, made a penalty with a foul on Dragana Cvijic, the Serbian line player left the court injured.

Buducnost started the second half with more determination and took the lead within five minutes (18:15), forcing HCM Baia Mare coach Aurelian Rosca to take a time-out.

After that, everything was easy for Buducnost. Baia Mare came back to one goal (22:21) but never threatened the home team’s lead anymore.

"I'm happy with the win and the place at the FINAL4," said goalkeeper Ljubica Nenezic, who had five saves in the second half. "It's an honour to be part of this team. Every moment in the Champions League is precious to me."

The top scorer was Cristina Neagu with 10, Katarina Bulatovic added five, while Neli Irman and Majda Mehmedovic scored four goals each.

Lois Abbingh and Patricia Vizitiu led HCM Baia Mare with five goals each.

"We played well until the 45th minute, but after that we saw the difference in quality between two teams," Baia Mare coach Aurelian Rosca said.

"Buducnost deserved a place at the Women's EHF FINAL4. We had successful season in the EHF Champions League."

The win means that Buducnost stretched its unbeaten streak in EHF Champions League home games as they haven’t lost since being beaten by Györi Audi ETO KC on 10 March 2013.

TEXT: Saša Jončić / ew