EHF FINAL4 – 1st Semifinal Post-Game Reactions
June 3, 2023
EHF FINAL4 1st Semifinal – Gyor AUDI ETO vs. Vipers Kristiansand 35:37 (18:23)
by Sascha Staat
Györ’s Dutch line-player Yvette Broch (Györ AUDI ETO) has seen quite a bit in her long career in handball, yet she was almost at a loss of words after the defeat against Vipers Kristiansand in the first semi-final of the day. Here’s how Broch summed up the match.
I’d say the problem of Györ was the first half. You played quite well after the break, but the gap was probably too big to overcome?
YB: It was way too big. I think once we played in our established defense, we had good control, but they managed to run very fast to avoid our defense and we couldn’t run with them. They scored 23 goals in the first half. That’s way too much. Way too much, yes.
You almost came back in the second half, but then there were some mistakes in offense?
YB: Yes, we had our chances. We had all the opportunities to turn the match in our favor, but we didn’t. But, like I said, for me, what killed our game was their tempo in the first half, when we had problems to run back and defend.
In the first half it looked like Vipers had a stronger body language. Do you agree?
YB: No, not really. I think they just managed to play the match so we couldn’t play our game. Our game is based on our defense to create fast-breaks and run. I don’t know what to say, to be honest.
How tough will it be to find enough motivation for the match tomorrow as you came here to win the title?
YB: Oh, I’m sure I still have a lot of motivation. Anyway, the four teams that are here are amazing and it’s all very close. So,I’m very motivated to take third place.
Katarina Jezic (Vipers Kristiansand) was all smiles as Vipers controlled most of the match against Györ in the first semi-final of the EHF Champions League FINAL4, in Budapest. She praised her team’s great spirit and how exhausting it is to run up and down the court all the time.
Congratulations on making it to the final of the EHF Champions League. The first half involved a great deal of running – you must be exhausted?
KJ: First of all, thank you. Honestly, I’m not exhausted. We are running a lot during our practices sessions, when we play six-against-six. Actually, it’s harder for me when we are training. Of course, I’m not playing 60 minutes, so I can keep up. Today, we were running really well and I’m so proud of everybody. I think we hit them with a really good pace. Let’s not to forget – this is Györ and we outran them. It’s is a really powerful feeling.
Why did you win the game? Because of your first half performance or because you stayed calm in the second half?
KJ: I think it’s a combination. We won the game in the first half because we had an advantage. If we had not played like this, we probably would not have relaxed in the second half like we did. I can say that no team I ever played with stayed as calm in stressful situations. We really trust ourselves, no matter what is going on.
What will be the key for the final tomorrow? Of course, you don’t know the team you will face, yet, but in all likelihood you will be the favorite?
KJ: It doesn’t matter who will be our opponent, tomorrow. We will have the same objective, score one more goal in the end and be as good as we can. This is how we work. We really enjoy being together and play handball – you can see it. I think the tactic will be the same – just play our game and focus on ourselves.
For Marketa Jerabkova (Vipers Kristiansand) it’s not the first trip to the EHF Champions League final and it did not come as a surprise that she was calm and relaxed just minutes after the match.
First of all, congratulations. In the first half it was a wild game, but you had the advantage as you kept running and running and running. Vipers were unstoppable and scored 23 goals midway through the match.
MJ: Yes, this game was really about running and we came prepared because we really like to play fast – it’s just our style of handball. We wanted to do our best. Of course, every game can be played better once we watch video and analyze it later. But, yes – we kept the tempo high.
It’s quite amazing that you all appear so calm and collected as the arena was supporting Györ. Did you feel the same on the court?
MJ: Of course, when we stay calm, that it’s a plus for us. In general, I think we are a calm team – trying to keep it together and focus on our game and our performance.
What happened in the last 15 minutes?
MJ: I think we need to review the match to see what exactly happened. Tomorrow, we need to do better. We conceded a lot of goals from nine meters. We need to be more careful.
Maybe you were getting a little bit tired?
MJ: I don’t think so.
You still have enough energy for the final, tomorrow?
MJ: Of course. There is always enough energy for the last game of the season. Especially this one.
Estelle Nze Minko (Györ AUDI ETO) wasn’t shy to say what’s on her mind after Györ’s loss to Vipers Kristiansand in the first semi-final. Her team should have done better and the speed of the game made the difference.
Why did you lose this match?
ENM: I think we conceded too many fast breaks. We didn’t run back in the first half. This aside, I think we were pretty consistent in defense when Vipers were in attack. They scored too many goals too easy. In the end, we got close, but we could not catch them. It’s so frustrating.
You have a very wide and deep bench – why was it still possible for Vipers to outrun you?
ENM: Yeah, interesting question. I don’t know. One thing for certain – we substitute a player in defense. So, of course, the way we run back is a bit more disorganized, if I can describe it this way. Well, I don’t know.
In the second half you almost managed to catch up?
ENM: I don’t know. We had so many opportunities, like you say. We should have done better – it’s as simple as that.
What will be the game like tomorrow?
ENM: I have no idea until I know who we’re going to play against. I allow myself to not think about it somehow, which leaves me three hours and we then will see.