MATCH REVIEW – Gyor had to work a bit harder than they probably expected in the first half against Team Esbjerg, but after the break, the Hungarian top team left no doubt.
By Peter Bruun
Team Esbjerg vs Gyori Audi ETO KC 26:32 (12:14)
Before the Match
Gyor had opened their main round campaign with a 39:22 win at home against Krim Ljubljana, while Esbjerg lost the Danish derby away against FC Midtjylland 38:26.
The Hungarian champion were leading the group with eight points, while Esbjerg were last with two.
While Gyor were only missing pregnant line player Heidi Loke, Esbjerg were without playmaker Estavana Polman as well as left-wing and captain Susanne Kastrup Forslund for the same reason, and injured goalkeeper Filippa Idéhn and playmaker Lærke Møller.
Esbjerg coach Lars Frederiksen compared his team´s task to playing FC Barcelona in football.
Gyor got the expected win, but their Norwegian goalkeeper Kari Aalvik Grimsbø was still critical after the match, when she stated that everything is still not perfect in the Hungarian team.
Esbjerg fought well, but in the end, the opposition was simply too strong for the Danish Champions League debutants, and after a couple of Danish comebacks in the first half, Gyor had no real problems in the last 30 minutes.
In the beginning, it all worked according to plan – Gyor went ahead 3:0 in a hurry, as it took Esbjerg almost five minutes to score their first goal.
However, playing seven-against-six, Esbjerg came back at 5:5, but when Gyor figured out the plays, the visitors increased their lead by five goals 12:7 and 13:8. But lack of concentration combined with an improving Emily Stang Sando in Esbjerg’s goal allowed the home team back into the game.
Esbjerg got as close as one goal down (12:13), before Anita Görbicz made use of another penalty to give her team a two-goal lead at the half.
Esbjerg’s newcomer, Nanna Friis, scored the first goal after the break, but Gyor followed with four of their own leaving no doubt, which team control the rest of the match.
Esbjerg stuck with their seven-against-six play, but without much success any longer.
It became an increasing problem for the home team that they did not have a substitute to Stang Sando in due to Idéhn´s injury. Sando could have used a break as she did not perform many saves in the second half.
The visitors build seven-goal leads several times before booking a six-goal victory in the end.
Ambros Martín could even afford to use his bench and demonstrating his team’s depth and versatility.
His squad’s quality may improve even further next season, as left-back, Anne Mette Hansen, from København Håndbold is reportedly on her way to Gyor.
Player of the Match
Already last weekend, Anita Görbicz indicated that she is back and close to top form.
The woman, who has often been named “The queen of Hungarian handball” scored seven goals, when Gyor beat Krim 39:22 in their first main round match, and this Sunday, against a somewhat stronger opponent, she scored no less than 11 times.
During most of the match, 60 vociferous Gyor fans dominated 1,800 local spectators – a good illustration of the differences between Scandinavian and Hungarian fan culture.
Gyor continues to sit on top of the group (10 points) and are cruising towards the quarter-finals, while Esbjerg remain at the bottom with only two points.
After the match, Esbjerg coach Lars Frederiksen made no secret – once again – of the fact that the Danish league matters most, indicating that the Champions League road game against CSM, next Sunday, will not have a high priority for his team.
Gyor will look forward to the “Match of the Day”, when second placed Larvik will be visiting Audi arena.