Rostov take step towards DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4Article
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QUARTER-FINAL REVIEW: A three-goal victory at FTC puts Rostov-Don in a good position before the return quarter-final match on their home court
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Rostov take step towards DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4

When FTC and Rostov met in the Women’s EHF Champions League Quarter-final last season, the Russian side won the first-leg match in Hungary 31:29. 

On Sunday afternoon, history almost repeated itself, as a 29:26 away result earned Rostov a good chance to reach their second straight DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4. 

“I would like to congratulate my players – today they did really good team work. I was really happy to see that they helped each other and everybody could give something to this win,” said Rostov coach Ambros Martin, before commenting on FTC’s performance: “It is difficult to play against them, they fought and did never give up. But this is only the first match, we have to practice all week to win the second too.”

  • FTC’s six-game unbeaten run comes to an end 

  • Rostov captain Iuliia Managarova scores seven goals for the Russian side

  • FTC’s young stars Noemi Hafra and Katrin Klujber also finish the game with seven goals each

  • The second leg will be played in Rostov next Saturday

FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) vs Rostov-Don (RUS) 26:29 (13:14)

Although Rostov-Don finished with an important three-goal lead at the final buzzer, it was a close match throughout and the Hungarian hosts threatened to come back until the last whistle. 

The first quarter of the game featured a tight fight, with the rivals exchanging goals. But at 5:5, Dora Horvath received a suspension, FTC replaced their goalkeeper with an extra field player, and Rostov’s Kseniya Makeeva and Mayya Petrova scored two consecutive goals from their own half into an empty net. 

The visitors pulled ahead at 8:5 but, following a timeout called by coach Gabor Elek, FTC closed the gap 15 seconds from half-time thanks to Noemi Hafra’s shot (13:13). However, Polina Kuznetsova scored in a fast return attack to give Rostov a narrow one-goal lead at the break.

Early in the second half, the hosts drew level again then pulled in front 17:16 in the 42nd minute. The young backs Noemi Hafra and Katrin Klujber impressed again, scoring a combined 14 goals in the match, yet their impact was not enough. Rostov had more power and experience, and their captain Iuliia Managarova led by example in attack, finishing up with a tally of seven goals. 

10 minutes from the buzzer, Rostov had a three-goal advantage, 23:20. Although FTC fought back to 24:25 by the 55th minute, Anna Sedoykina’s saves in the closing minutes helped the Russian team weather the storm and clinch a three-goal victory. 

“We had three main problems. The first one was the rebounded balls – Rostov had luck with them. The second one was that we were impatient in the critical moments, and the third one is that our team became totally tired due to the physical aspects of Rostov players,” said FTC coach Gabor Elek. “By all means, I am proud of my team because they were fighting, but we need a little bit more to win, to reach the FINAL4.”

TEXT: Sergey Nikolaev / cg