“We were too nice in defence”Article
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INTERVIEW: Györi Audi ETO KC left back Anne Mette Hansen discusses her team’s 11-minute goal drought, which was close to costing them the win in Odense on Sunday, and looks ahead to the return quarter-final match
»2018-19 Women's News

“We were too nice in defence”

Györi Audi ETO KC seemed to be cruising towards the expected win in the first leg of their Women’s EHF Champions League Quarter-final tie against Odense HC, leading 25:18 in the middle of the second half in the Danish side’s Idrætshal on Sunday afternoon. But then, the Hungarian favourites endured 11 minutes without scoring a goal. 

Odense made use of the ruling back-to-back champions’ goal drought to catch up, 25:25. Soon after, the Danish home team even took the lead at 27:26, before Györ weathered the storm and won 29:28. 

“I think we were in control in the first half. In the second, we were too sloppy during a certain phase of the match, and that allowed Odense to get back into the game,” says Györ’s Danish left back Anne Mette Hansen. 

“We continued to create some fine scoring opportunities, also during our scoring break, but we simply missed them. In addition to that, we were too nice in defence, which meant that they scored and we did not.”

However, Hansen was not overly nervous that her team would lose for the first time in their Champions League campaign this season. 

“I think we managed to tighten the grip a bit again towards the end, and this meant that we were able to put a bit more pressure on them again, so that it was their turn to miss their opportunities,” finds the Danish international.

“We have been in similar situations before, so we have a certain experience in handling them. I think that played a part too.”

Hansen was in a similar situation with Györ in the Hungarian Cup Final in the middle of March. In that match, Györ were leading by nine goals in the first half against FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria, only to see their opponents equalise at 22:22 before Györ won by three goals.

Happy to be back in Denmark

Apart from the rather shaky phase in the second half, it was a positive experience for Hansen to play in her homeland again.

“It is also great fun to come home and play there. I had some friend and relatives on the stands, and that was nice too,” says the 24-year-old back-court player, who contributed two goals on Sunday in addition to managing a rather heavy workload in defence. She is also among the players nominated for the Women’s EHF Champions League All-star Team.

“I think it was a fine game on my part. I did make some mistakes, which I will have to correct before the return match, but in general, I think my performance was acceptable,” says Hansen. 

Hoping to avoid another blackout

Györ hardly ever lose at home, and after their win in Denmark, they are the clear favourites to take the final step towards the DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4 when Odense visit Audi Arena on Saturday. Hansen, playing her second season in Györ, hopes that her team will avoid a blackout like the one in the first leg.

“I hope that will not happen again, and we will obviously do everything we can to prevent it,” says Hansen. “We also have to show that this is our home ground, and that it is always difficult for any away team to play here.”

TEXT: Peter Bruun / cg