|09.04.2017, 21:52||◄ last page|
QUARTER-FINAL REVIEW: Metz narrowly defeat Györ 32:31 after a last-minute goal from Ana Gros.
Metz snatch last-minute victory against Györ
Metz' women were confident in welcoming Györ onto their home court. On the court, both teams were looking at each other in the eye right from the start. This set the scene for what was to be an incredibly tense duel.
Indeed, it was an exciting back and forth affair. Whenever Anita Görbicz found the net for the Hungarian champions, Ana Gros did the same at the other end of the court.
QUARTER-FINAL, FIRST LEG
Metz Handball (FRA) vs Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN) 32:31 (16:16)
Defence was not a strong point for either team on the day, therefore offensive players quite easily found their feet. For most of the game, the teams were not separated by more than two goals.
Zsuzsanna Tomori gave a slight advantage to the visitors after 15 minutes, but it did not last very long. Two goals by Laura Glauser, and one counter attack by Jurswailly Luciano made the teams level again. The arena was roaring in delight.
Cornelia Nycke Groot captalised on having a woman extra on her side, and won a two-goal advantage for Györ right before half-time. But once again Metz replied without panicking and by the break Metz and Györ were tied, 16:16.
“This first half gave us confidence, and at the break we said to each other that it was time to put our foot on the pedal.
"We wanted to put even more pace into the second, to see how Györ would react,” explained Metz coach Manu Mayonnade.
Metz increased the pace
Indeed, Metz increased the tempo in the second half. They also increased defensive pressure, and managed to steal a couple of balls from their opponents.
Györ were falling behind, and it was only thanks to saves by their goalkeepers that they were not down by more than three goals just ten minutes after coming back on the court (22:19). When Yvette Broch scored Györ's twentieth goal - after a seven-minute offensive silence - one could sense that this was only a temporary dip in form.
Metz were relentlessly firing on all cylinders, especially Ana Gros, who scored ten on the night. It was Gros that passed the ball to Camille Aoustin, who gave the French side a five-goal advantage thirteen minutes before the end of the game (28:23).
Nevertheless, Györ turned things around. A time-out by Ambros Martins seemed to motivate the Hungarian side to get back into the game. After this, Anita Görbicz scored twice, and the defence was back on track.
When Nora Mørk scored the equaliser just three minutes before the end (30:30), the momentum had shifted, and was behind Györ. However, pushed on by their fans, Metz managed to secure the victory thanks to a stunning last-second goal by Ana Gros (32:31).
Despite the win, Metz's Beatrice Edwige was somewhat disappointed:
“Tonight, we've seen the difference in experience between two teams.
"When they were down by five, they held their heads up and came back into the game - maybe we panicked a bit in the last few minutes.
“A victory against Györ is still a great thing, but we could have done more,” she said.
On the other side, Ambros Martin was satisfied with the performance his team gave:
“We knew it would be hard, and Metz showed tonight it was no accident they beat Vardar and Buducnost previously.
"I'm quite satisfied because we managed to save ourself in the last minute.
"If we had lost by five, the qualification would have been hard to get, but losing by one, we keep our chance to progress after next weekend."
TEXT: Kevin Domas / kc