Györ aim to maintain unbeaten home record for FINAL4 ticketArticle
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QUARTER-FINAL PREVIEW: Györ dropped only one point at home this season, so Metz must produce their best away performance to hold on to the one-goal advantage earned in the first leg.

Györ aim to maintain unbeaten home record for FINAL4 ticket

Metz Handball did an excellent job against title contenders Györi Audi ETO KC, but their one-goal advantage may not be enough if they do not come up with their best away performance in the second leg of the Women’s EHF Champions League Quarter-finals.

•    Metz bring a one-goal advantage to Györ after a 32:31 victory at home in the first leg, but the French outfit won only one away game against main round teams this season.
•    The Hungarian team is undefeated at home this season. Only Larvik managed to snatch a point from Györ with a draw in the main round.
•    Györ, who already lost one of the three possible trophies they wanted to lift in 2016/17 – the Hungarian Cup – will play under enormous pressure.

Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN) vs Metz Handball (FRA)
Saturday 15 April, 19:00 local time, live on ehfTV

In the first leg Metz proved it was no coincidence that European heavyweights like Vardar and Buducnost left their arena empty-handed. The French outfit made Györ sweat bullets with a lead of no less than five goals against the Hungarian powerhouse in the second half.

However, Györ pulled themselves together to close the gap for a final score of 32:31, making the French players somewhat disappointed despite their impressive performance. One goal hardly qualifies as a significant advantage in a two-leg elimination round in handball, especially not in Györ, where only one team (Larvik, with a 27:27 draw) managed to avoid defeat this season.

The high number of conceded goals should be alarming for Györ coach Ambros Martín, whose team did not allow any opponents to score more than 27 goals prior to the first leg of the quarter-finals.

Györ also seemed to be uncomfortable with the pace at which Metz played in the second half, not to mention their inability to effectively cover the magnificent Ana Gros, who finished the game with 10 goals to her name.

Metz need near-perfect performance

The first leg – which turned into a battle of the lefties as Nora Mörk also found the back of the net 10 times for Györ – went just the way Metz coach Manu Mayonnade planned after his team produced only one away result this season.

Their 28:20 victory at Astrakhanochka was Metz’s only win away from home in the main round, though they played balanced matches in Skopje, losing 21:23 to Vardar, and Podgorica, where they were defeated 19:21 by Buducnost.

The stakes are high as Györ have already lost one of the three trophies they intended to lift this season when FTC beat them in the Hungarian Cup Final, and public expectations put Ambros Martín’s team under significant pressure with the possibility of missing a place at the TIPPMIX EHF FINAL4.

TEXT: Bence Martha / cg