|15.04.2017, 21:55||◄ last page|
QUARTER-FINAL REVIEW: The French team made last year's runners-up work hard but Győr eventually emerged as winners by a comfortable margin to make it through to Budapest.
Győr beat feisty Metz for FINAL4 place
Győri Audi ETO KC turned Metz Handball’s one-goal advantage from the first leg around with a 28:22 victory to seal their place in the TIPPMIX EHF FINAL4, where the Hungarian team complete the same line-up as last year. Ambros Martín’s team played well.
• Metz managed to keep Győr on a short leash despite Ana Gros missing all her shots in the first half
QUARTER-FINAL, SECOND LEG:
Győri Audi ETO KC (HUN) vs Metz Handball (FRA) 28:22 (17:12)
Metz Handball were eager to be the second team to avoid defeat in the notorious Audi Arena, which would make them reach the TIPPMIX EHF FINAL4 for the first time at the expense of last year's runners-up Győri ETO.
Győr immediately went ahead but could not extend their lead because of the massive Metz defence and the magnificent Laura Glauser, who started brightly in Metz's goal.
However, the home side's defence worked even better and led by the outstanding Eduarda Amorim, Győr started to slowly add to their lead.
The outstanding player of the first game, Ana Gros, missed all her shots in the first half and Metz struggled to find their way past the massive Győr wall and Kari Aalvik Grimsbö.
It was not the kind of high tempo running game like the first leg. Both teams had to work hard to create scoring chances as defences dominated the first period.
Manu Mayonnade proved the visitors were ready to put up a fight even when the match became more physical and the tempo was much lower than in the first leg. Metz managed to remain close as a 3-0 run cut Győr's lead to one goal thanks to efforts of Grace Zaadi Denua and Marion Maubon.
But the in-form Amorim made sure Ambros Martín's side remained up front and Anita Görbicz scored one of the most beautiful goals of the year from left wing.
Győr raise the tempo
The last minutes of the first half belonged to Győr again as they speeded up the game and Nora Mörk sent the strong crowd of 5000 into a frenzy with an impossible shot from the right wing and the Hungarian powerhouse were leading by five goals (four on aggregate).
Ana Gros finally found the back of the net in the beginning of the second half but Győr’s Dutch commando of Nycke Groot and Yvette Broch did their best to maintain the home side’s lead. Metz were fighting bravely and effectively as Mayonnade opened his defensive wall, they did not let Győr sit back for a minute and the last 10 minutes promised a thrilling run-in.
It was not Mörk’s game, the Norwegian right back, who scored 10 goals in Metz. She continued to miss shots and the visitors cut Győr’s lead to four goals. However, Zsuzsa Tomori stepped in and scored some vital goals against the still massive but a tad tired Metz wall.
The French players refused to give up but Grimsbö pulled off a couple of huge saves and Metz’s chances faded as the clock was ticking. Győr eventually won by a comfortable margin and made it to the TIPPMIX EHF FINAL4, where they complete a copy of last season’s line-up alongside Vardar, Buducnost and CSM Bucuresti.
'Sport is not mathematics'
“Sport is not mathematics, you can’t predict how your players will perform but luckily the team had a great night and won against a great team,” Győr coach Ambros Martín said. “What we did today was more of a mind game than a handball game but the girls did a great job.”
After scoring seven times, including her 500th career Champions League goal, Amorim seemed to pick up an injury but later said “it was just a cramp.”
“We had a horrible game in France but we knew we couldn’t play that badly twice. But we also knew that if we can raise our game by 30 percent we would have a good chance,” Amorim said. “We did more than that: I think we improved 100 percent.”
TEXT: Bence Mártha / ew