Pick Szeged and Csurgó met again in the second match of the semi-final, this time at Csurgó. The teams encountered in the sold out hall of Csurgó, where the fanatic supporters of the home side created a fantastic atmosphere. Szeged took the lead with the early goals of Ancsin and Prodanovic (1-4 at 5 min). The Pick defence was solid with Roland Mikler showing a superb performance in the goal again, thus Szeged romped to a 3-7 lead by the 12th minute. The home team might have felt the burden of the previous match where Szeged won by 11 goals, it was inevitably reflected by their performance. A double two-minute suspension on the Szeged side helped Csurgó to come back into the match, the visiting team was unable to take advantage of the penalties on the home side, while Simon – a Szeged-bred player – scored a magnificent goal with a spinning trick shot. Csurgó came closer and closer before the end of the first half, a 3 goal-lead remained at the side of Szeged by the halftime (9-12). Though Szeged got the lead, the team did not play very well, mainly building upon the mistakes of the hosts with a few individual movements. As far as the home side is concerned, Bence Simon shined for Csurgó.
In the second half Csurgó’s attitude changed, they closed the gap due to being more accurate in attack (13-15), and fought back to the draw level (16-16). Hungarian international Pallag gained momentum, Miss did not miss the chances from the wing, unlike in the first half. Szeged was not able to score for 10 minutes; it seemed that Csurgó would manage to win the match (20-17 at 50 min). Zubai kept the team in the match, the Csurgó defence led by Borsos was difficult to fight. Szeged closed up with the 7-meter penalties of Buday and equalized by the final minutes. Buday’s set shot earned a draw for Szeged, the final score was 24-24. The 7-meter-throws were to decide who is going to win. Every Szeged player managed to score, while two of the home side missed his chance, this way the Russian roulette was won by Pick with 4-1 result.
Wholehearted Csurgó made Szeged sweat to win, it might have been the routine that helped Szeged to equalize and be more effective in the final phase of the match. Definitely a better performance is needed in the final, where MKB Veszprém is waiting.
Top scorers: Simon, Miss (4-4)/ Buday (6), Larholm (4)
In the other semi-final: Tatabánya – MKB Veszprém 23-34
Text: Gábor Várkonyi, Géza Prohászka