FTC leave it late while Bietigheim take important winArticle
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GROUP D REVIEW: Aniko Kovacsics saved the Hungarian side with a last-gasp winner aganist Vipers, while CSM slumped to a two-goal defeat in Germany

FTC leave it late while Bietigheim take important win

It was not a pretty win, nevertheless FTC snatched two points from their home game against Vipers in the Women’s EHF Champions League on Sunday. Aniko Kovacsics beat the buzzer with her seventh goal of the match (27:26).

One of the title favourites, CSM Bucuresti, stumbled while visiting SG BBM Bietigheim (30:28). A dramatic start saw them drop 4:0 behind, and the Romanian champions never caught up again.

  • Bietigheim now top the group with three points, followed by CSM and FTC with two each

  • CSM have the second worst defence this competition, with 61 goals conceded

  • CSM have lost two straight matches, after a domestic league defeat this week

  • FTC will meet Bietigheim next week, while Vipers host CSM


FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) vs Vipers Kristiansand (NOR) 27:26 (17:14)

It took six goals from playmaker Aniko Kovacsics for FTC to strengthen their grip of the game, as Vipers never took the lead in the first half.

There were eight different scorers for the Norwegian team in the first 30 minutes, but the ‘strength in numbers’ proverb did not apply to the guests, with FTC leading by as many as six goals, 13:6.

With Linn Jorum Sulland in fine shooting form, the Norwegian side cut the gap to only three goals (17:14) at half-time.

It looked like FTC was going to cruise to the win, but a 5:0 run from Vipers, relying heavily on Jeanett Kristiansen and Linn Jorum Sulland, looked like turning the game on its head.

But the match had one more turn in it. With Vipers looking for the win in the dying seconds, Kovacsics intercepted the ball, sprinted to the other side of the court and netted just in time for the buzzer, sealing a dramatic win for FTC.

FTC coach Gabor Elek acknowledged that luck played a huge part in the end.

“We were fresh, creative and disciplined in the first half,” Elek said. “As the tiredness was coming during the match, we became slower, we began to shoot the balls irresponsibly, and they could catch up. Now the fortune was the key to our win.”

The late goal that cost Vipers a point obviously hurt coach Gustav Gjekstad: “The end was disappointing of course, we would have been satisfied with the one point, but by all means, it was a fair match."

SG BBM Bietigheim (GER) vs CSM Bucuresti (ROU) 30:28 (16:12)

CSM Bucuresti lost on Wednesday against SCM Ramnicu Valcea in the Romanian League, after also losing the Super Cup in August. But few would believe that such a strong team on paper was going to have so much trouble against SG BBM Bietigheim.

There were a lot of perplexed eyes, even on Bietigheim’s bench, after a strong 4:0 start for the German side, as CSM opened their account only after seven minutes and 13 seconds.

But the Romanian defence never really got going, while their attack was lacking creativity and spark, relying only on Andrea Lekic and Cristina Neagu.

With CSM always being on the wrong foot in attack, Bietigheim dictated the rhythm of the game and even took a huge 17:12 lead, while Magnus Johansson constantly tinkered with his line-up.

Briefly everything clicked for the Romanian side, and CSM cut the gap to only one goal (23:22) after a 5:1 run.

But an inspired Bietigheim retained the lead, especially thanks to an 11-goal outing from left back Kim Naidzinavicius, who was virtually unstoppable. As Lekic (with seven goals) and Neagu (nine) tried to keep up, CSM’s defence ultimately failed and Bietigheim celebrated one of their biggest wins in the competition.

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / ew