CSM surge past FTC as Bietigheim eliminatedArticle
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GROUP D REVIEW: CSM bounced back after a heavy loss to beat the Hungarian side
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CSM surge past FTC as Bietigheim eliminated

CSM had never previously lost against FTC, but the Hungarian side’s hopes for a maiden win against the Romanian powerhouse were boosted with their opponents seemingly in turmoil, having lost against Bietigheim and Vipers this season.

But the Romanian side, a team with huge potential, managed to erase an early 5:1 deficit and showed grit and strength in attack to earn their third win in the group.

In Germany, a pale start and no nerve were the main ingredients for Bietigheim's demise as Vipers Kristiansand secured a commanding win to earn their first main round berth in the Women’s EHF Champions League and send their hosts out of the competition.

  • Cristina Neagu was CSM’s top scorer, with nine goals
  • The Romanian side, who lost two games this season, can win the group if they overcome Bietigheim next week
  • FTC remain joint top of the group with six points
  • Kristiansand through for the first time as they eliminate Bietigheim 

FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) vs CSM Bucuresti (ROU) 28:34 (10:17)

In dire need to avenge their loss against Vipers, CSM failed to apply pressure in defence and found themselves in early trouble against the tricky Hungarian side, who took an early 5:1 lead.

While a good start is usually decisive in such encounters, the Romanian side, loaded with stars in every position, did not panic and launched their comeback.

Firing on all cylinders, CSM enjoyed a 9:2 run which saw the game turned on its head, with Cristina Neagu and Majda Mehmedovic running riot in the Hungarian defence.

But it was the Romanian side’s defence which played the biggest role in giving them a commanding seven-goal lead at half-time.

An eight-goal lead was promptly cut to four by a FTC 5:1 run to start the second half, but Cristina Neagu was again unstoppable and helped CSM maintain their lead, as the Romanian side led 22:16 with 16 minutes to go.

There was no comeback from FTC, like they managed against Vipers and Bietigheim, as CSM had their best defensive performance of the season, while their attack was virtually unstoppable, to earn an important 34:28 victory, opening the path to winning Group D.

"This match was a 'to be or not to be' for us, actually everything depends on this match. I am happy because of how we reacted to that, and I am happy because we played as a team tonight," said CSM coach Dragan Djukic.

SG BBM Bietigheim (GER) vs Vipers Kristiansand (NOR) 26:34 (12:16)

It was not a question of the winner, rather of the margin of victory for Vipers after a slow start for Bietigheim allowed their hosts go on a 7:1 run to lead 8:3.

There was nothing the German side could do to stop their slide, with their defence unresponsive, while the Norwegian side found clever ways to score and boast a 16:12 lead at the break.

While right back Linn Jorum Sulland was the ever-consistent presence for Vipers with nine goals, it was line player Hanna Yttereng who led the charge for the Norwegian side, scoring 10, including six in the second half.

The German side had no answer for Kristiansand, recording their second worst loss in the Women’s EHF Champions League, 34:26, a result which put them out of contention for a main round berth.

As it currently stands, CSM will start the next phase of the competition with six points, while FTC and Vipers both have two before they face each other in Round 6.

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / cor