A clash of titans was a fitting description for today’s match between Budućnost and Györi Audi ETO KC. However, what was expected to be a much more tight encounter, was a match with a clear dominance from the Hungarian side, who looked much more focused on both attack and defence. On the other side, the team commanded by Dragan Adžić was unable to find the fluency needed to break such a tought defence as that of Györ, and was punished in defence by the dynamic attack displayed by the team directed by Ambros Martin. In a rematch of last year’s semifinal, the local team took the victory with a final score of 20-26 , and will face HC Vardar in tomorrow’s final of this TIPPMIX EHF FINAL 4.
The difference was established right from the beginning. Anita Görbicz, who started as a left wing, opened the scoreboard and from then on they had the lead until the end of the match. Under the command of Cornelia Groot in the centre back, the mobility of the Hungarian powerhouse proved to be a little too fast for the Budućnost defence. On the other side of the court, Cristina Neagu and Katarina Bulatovic were keeping the match alive after returning from a 6 goal deficit (9-11). They were the only scorers in the Montenegrin side for the entire first half, with 5 goals from the Romanian and 4 from the former Györ right back. But when things were looking up, right before the half time whistle, a cheeky steal and a shot to an empty goal from Yvette Broch put the 9-12.
The second half saw Budućnost fighting back, but in words of Neagu: “Our attack was pretty bad today, I had the feeling that it was very hard to score, and then we had some chances and we missed them, so it’s very hard to come back and defend, to make a good defence, I had the feeling that we had to ran after them the whole game”. Simply put, the attack did not work the way they expected, and that made the difference in the end. It took Budućnost 8:59 minutes to score on the second half, it was though a penaly shot by Djurdjina Jaukovic, who became the third scorer for the team in the match.
After 12’ in the second period, Zsuzsanna Tomori received a third 2’ suspension, which ruled her out of the match. The decision was not unfair, however, the second suspension for her came after she had forced an attacking foul and the referees interpreted an ‘acting’ scene. The match was pretty much resolved during those first minutes of the second half, when Kari Aalvik Grimsbø made herself present and shut down every chance that Budućnost had to shorten the gap.
It was only a few minutes away from the end that the Montenegrins scored their goal number 20, and that low scoring was, for Neagu, one of the reasons why they could not take the victory. “It’s very difficult to win when you score only 20 goals against a team like Györ. If we would’ve been in a better level, both in attack and defence, it would’ve looked different. They didn’t do anything different from what we expected them to do and this upsets me, because we knew everything, and they did the same things (we knew they would do) but we just weren’t at the level that we should’ve been”.
On the other side, Eduarda Amorim gave her impressions of the match as well: “Our game was better than we expected. We prepared really well and we’re in a really good moment. Our defence worked really well, and when it didn’t, our goalkeepers were there to respond, so it was a very happy day for us and must keep this spirit for tomorrow’s game”. The Brazilian left back, who netted 4 times for her team, also mentioned that there were no preferences regarding the rival on the final. “There are no preferences, all of the teams are winners. They all have such a great quality and that’s what makes this event a wonderful thing, so there are really are no differences and every one has chances to win”.
Anita Görbicz was the top scorer of the match with 9 goals, followed by Neagu with 7. Tomorrow, Györi Audi ETO KC will face HC Vardar at 17:45 (local time).