Outstanding Györ set the bar highArticle
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GROUP C REVIEW: Five months after being shocked in the EHF FINAL4 in Budapest by CSM, Györ came back in the Women’s EHF Champions League with a bang against FC Midtjylland.

Outstanding Györ set the bar high

The hungry handball fans of Györ were in for a treat on Saturday night as the Hungarian side impressed from the early stages of the Women’s EHF Champions League with a commanding 31:19 win against their Danish counterparts.

Nora Mörk enjoyed a bright start after her transfer from Larvik as the Norwegian back scored five goals, and Heidi Loke was unstoppable with 9.

  • Midtjylland was close to tie their worst defeat ever in the European top competition, a 38:24 drubbing at the hands of Viborg in 2009

  • Without the injured Stine Jørgensen and with Eliza Buceschi far from 100%, Midtjylland collapsed, failing to score a goal for 13 minutes in the first half

Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN) vs FC Midtjylland (DEN) 31:19 (16:7)

Ambros Martin is not a coach that dwells easily in defeat. Therefore, it was highly unlikely that Györ would make the same mistake twice, after the Danish side won in Hungary in last year’s group phase, 26:21.

With that idea in mind, the Hungarian powerhouse enjoyed a straightforward win and established themselves as an odds-on favourite for their third title in the last five years.

Over 13 minutes without a goal

With Nora Mörk as the only important transfer this summer, Györ were betting on consistency this season and, up until now, the Hungarian side made the right decision.

There was no doubt who was the better side Saturday night, with Györ jumping to an early lead and never looking back.

The game was decided by an overwhelming 9:0 partial between the 6th and 19th minute for Györ, when the Hungarian side stopped their opponents in defence and thrived in attack thanks to the Norwegian duo of Mörk and Loke, who combined for 9 goals in the first half.

A 63% save percentage for another Norwegian, Kari Aalvik Grimsbo, completed the Danish nightmare, as Midtjylland were down 16:7 after 30 minutes.

Mörk and Loke hitting it off

Györ’s lead continued to expand in the second half. The game had the same pattern, with the Hungarian side leading by a whopping 11-goal margin in the 43rd minute, scoring twice as many goals as Midtjylland, 22:11.

Heidi Loke (9 goals) and Nora Mörk (5 goals) scored 45% of Györ’s goals, forming an impressive partnership from their first game in green and white.

With Ambros Martin changing the lines and slowly starting to give other players the chance to add to the team’s chemistry, Györ continued to maintain their advantage and impressed both in attack and defence, resembling the well-oiled machine that won the title in 2013 and 2014.

The 31:19 loss was one of the worst in Midtjylland’s history in the European top competition, just two goals shy of their record 38:24 drubbing against Viborg seven years ago.

Post-match statements:

Ambros Martín, Györ coach: “My team didn’t forget last season, when we had a lot of difficulties against FCM. We were concentrated from the very first moment of the game, and we played as a team almost during the whole game. When we had problems, Grimsbö showed her quality.”

Kristian Kristensen, Midtjylland coach: “Györ showed their best form today. We have a lot of new players, our team is still forming. The big pressure from inside and outside was too much for my young team.”

Kari Grimsbö, Györ goalkeeper: “We were playing a really good game. We knew how it was last year against them, this fact was clear in our mind. We have started the CL season in an impressive way.”

Sabina Jacobsen, Midtjylland back player: “Györ showed today that they are one of the best teams in Europe. We realize our weaknesses and what we need to improve more.”

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / ew