|13.04.2017, 13:43||◄ last page|
QUARTER-FINAL PREVIEW: FTC’s home arena is 300 metres from the venue of the TIPPMIX EHF FINAL4 in Budapest but there is a long way to go for CSM Bucuresti against the Hungarian team
Title holders CSM out to defend five-goal advantage at Ferencváros
Ferencváros were trailing CSM Bucuresti by two or three goals for most of the first leg of their quarter-final tie, but the title-holders produced a stunning last three minutes to claim a five goal advantage (30:25). That puts them in the driver’s seat against the Hungarian side, whose leader and skipper Zita Szucsánszki may not recover from injury in time for the second leg.
QUARTER-FINAL, SECOND LEG
FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) vs CSM Bucuresti (ROM)
It has been a rough ride for CSM Bucuresti but the defending champions, albeit bruised and battered he and there, made it through the first two stages of the Women’s EHF Champions League. The first leg of their quarter-final clash with Ferencváros was just like their entire season: struggle first, fight later on, get the better of the opponent in the end.
Ferencváros have had an excellent run in the competition so far. Having finished as runners-up in Group 1 the Hungarian outfit managed to keep their dreams alive and kicking for the second leg until the last five minutes of the clash in Bucuresti.
Injury woes for FTC
Anikó Kovacsics, FTC’s most prolific player of the game with 11 goals, claimed they were too few in numbers. As fatigue kicked in FTC let Bucuresti get away with a five-goal lead in what was supposed to be a two or three-goal win for her team.
It is still unclear whether team captain Zita Szucsánszki and right back Dóra Hornyák will recover in time for the second leg. Szucsánszki’s recovery is of vital importance for the home side, not only because the skipper is an important source of goals but she is also a solid defender. She warmed up in Bucuresti but felt pain in her shoulder and decided not to take any risks.
Inspirational leader Bella Gulldén and Carmen Martin tore FTC’s defence apart, especially in the first half when Gábor Elek’s traditionally solid defence could not cope with the pace of the home side.
Paula Ungureanu outshone her FTC counterparts in goal and she will need to come up with a performance of the same quality in Budapest, where Ferencváros will enjoy the kind of backing Bucuresti fans provided their team in the first leg.
Home and away
The title holders’ away form is not the best this year. They lost at Midtjylland, Győr and Larvik in the main round but their only 5+ defeat happened in Győr. The rest were balanced clashes that ended with tight losses.
In contrast, Ferencváros have been better away from home as they lost twice at home in the main round, against Vardar and Buducnost.
The stage is set for a fascinating contest on Saturday to determine which of these two teams progresses to the TIPPMIX EHF FINAL4.
TEXT: Bence Martha / jh