Rostov and Györ move closer to FINAL4 after winsArticle
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QUARTER-FINAL REVIEW: Györ overcame a flurry of injuries to take a precious win while Rostov-Don had their work cut out for them in Hungary

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Rostov and Györ move closer to FINAL4 after wins

Neither FTC nor Rostov have made it to the EHF Champions League FINAL4 before, but now the Russian side seem to be closer to reach the milestone as they won 31:29 in Dabas.

While things are looking very good for the reigning champions as Györ take a six-goal win with them back to Hungary for the second leg.

  • Rostov won their fourth straight game in the tournament
  • Rostov’s Anna Vyakhireva was the top scorer of the match with eight goals
  • The second leg match will be played on 14 April in Rostov
  • Back after a lengthy injury, Eduarda Amorim shone for Györ (eight goals)
  • Buducnost had a 11-minute scoreless stint that proved decisive, with Györ enjoying a 7:0 run
  • The second leg will take place in Györ next Saturday

FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) vs Rostov-Don (RUS) 29:31 (15:16)

Already the first minute of the game there was an unfortunate event for the home side, as the goalkeeper Melinda Szikora hurt her knee and was replaced by Blanka Biro.

Biro tried hard to have her impact on the game, yet it was Rostov’s goalkeeper Anna Sedoykina who came to the fore in Dabas, as her numerous saves was quite a contribution to the visitors’ victory.

Most of the first half featured a tight fight, yet Rostov capitalised on some FTC’s mistakes and pulled clear at 15:12 a few minutes from half-time.

However, the hosts reduced the deficit to 16:15 before Biro spectacularly saved Ana Paula Rodrigues’s shot a few seconds from the break.

In the second half, Rostov increased tempo, which helped them to stay dominant.

Sedoykina did well in goal, while Rodrigues and Anna Vyakhireva caused a lot of problems for the home side’s defense with their swift moves and great shots.

A few minutes from the final buzzer, the Russian champions were up 31:26, and although FTC cut the deficit to two goals, it will be extremely difficult for the Hungarian side to take revenge in Rostov.

Post-match reactions:

Fred Bougeant (coach of Rostov): "Of course I am happy that we won. It was a really important win, after a series of defeats.

"Next week it will be a totally different match, it will be hard, but we hope we will be able to manage."

Gabor Elek (coach of FTC): "We should have used our chances, but we did a lot of mistakes in both halves.

"It was not a question which team is the better, they had better players, but as we were so close during the whole match, we are all disappointed. 

"Next week it will be a new chapter, and even though it will be really very hard, we have the will to win."

Buducnost (MNE) vs Györi ETO Audi KC (HUN) 20:26 (9:12)

A flurry of injuries saw Györ backed into a corner against Buducnost, with the Montenegrin side starting to light up their dreams for an EHF FINAL4 berth.

After losing Nora Mørk last month due to a torn knee ligament, Györ also saw Zsuszanna Tomori tear her ligament and playmaker Stine Oftedal hurt her ankle while in action for the national team.

Coach Ambros Martin did not need another bad piece of news, yet on Saturday the Hungarian powerhouse announced that playmaker Nycke Groot was also out for a few weeks with a muscle tear.

Yet the guests enjoyed a 3:0 start of the game, thanks to an ultra-efficient pair of backs in Mireya Gonzalez and Eduarda Amorim. But when Buducnost fine-tuned their defence, Györ got into trouble.

A 5:1 run from the Montenegrin side, in which Milena Raicevic shined, saw Buducnost take back the lead, 5:4, and take the fight to their counterparts.

But Buducnost’s lack of experience came back and hampered the hosts’ efforts to win.

A 11-minute stretch without a goal scored for the Montenegrin side saw Györ take a 11:5 lead, thanks to a 7:0 run that was inspired by Anita Görbicz and Eduarda Amorim.

Flawless defence in the second half for Györ

While Buducnost tried to force their way back into contention, they simply did not have the proper answers for another excellent defensive display from Györ.

The hosts only managed to score three times in the first 15 minutes of the second half, as Milena Raicevic was the only Buducnost player who broke the opponent’s defence, scoring seven times.

But it was hardly enough, as the Hungarian powerhouse steamrolled their younger opponents, thanks to excellent games from Eduarda Amorim and Anita Görbicz.

The 26:20 win was enough for Györ to enjoy a quiet second leg next Saturday, as the Hungarian side is close to their third EHF FINAL4 berth.

Post-match reactions:

Martin Ambros, head coach Györ: "We have to congratulate the Buducnost not only for this game, but also for the whole season.

"Coach Adzic is doing a fantastic job with young players and we knew that it would not be easy in Podgorica after we saw the Buducnost's game against Vardar, FTC and Metz.

"We had to be extremely focused because it is difficult to play against this style of play."

Dragan Adzic, head coach Buducnost: "Györ have a great coach and a great system.

"I know that Györ have a great roster and it's always nice to play against them.

"Our wish was to play against the best in the first season with the new generation, to gain the necessary experience, although it was evident that we could make more problems than expected.

"Györ played without several players but they are still much better team than us."

TEXT: Sergey Nikolaev & Adrian Costeiu / bc