Gyor gets job done against brave Savehof
February 19, 2016
Gyor lived up to their status of favorite despite some shaky periods.
By Peter Bruun
Champions League (W) – Group 2
Gyor Audi ETO KC vs IK Savehof 32:26 (19:14)
Before the Match
Gyor were the overwhelming favorite in the match and it was all about keeping the hope alive for winning Group 2, ahead of Buducnost. At the same time, it was important to stay in front of Vardar and CSM Bucuresti to secure second place, at least.
Still missing at the Hungarian top club were star players Anita Görbicz, Zsuzsanna Tomori as well as right-wing Bernadett Bognar-Bodi and right-back Szimonetta Planeta.
Savehof had a theoretical chance to avoid last place in Group 2, but despite the Swedish champions´ impressive 32:24 win at home against FC Midtjylland, a week ago, this lofty prospect did not seem likely – even though Savehof was able to welcome back Swedish international Johanna Bundsen in goal.
4,534 spectators in Gyor’s Audi Arena saw the host do what was expected of them, but the favorites´ performance was not all that convincing against a visiting team that fought hard to the very end. After all was said and done, Gyor still breathes down Buducnost’s neck in the race for winning Group 2.
Riding on a wave of increased self-confidence following the big win against Midtjylland, Savehov got off to a fine start. Despite pushing their defense far forward, Gyor could not get a grip on Savehof’s shooters – Julia Eriksson and Linnea Pettersson – mainly because they neglected to effectively tackle them.
“No one touches the shooter”, said Gyor’s coach Ambros Martin in the timeout he called in the 11 minute – his team was down 6:4 and the observation was spot on.
Yet, it took his crew some time, to get things back to “normal”. In particular, Julia Eriksson continued where she left off against Mitjylland and it was not until the 14th minute that Gyor got their first lead, when Ida Alstad made it 8:7 on a penalty shot. Thereafter, it took the home team another nine minutes or so to record their first two-goal advantage (13:11) through Heidi Løke. But in the last moments before the half time buzzer, Gyor finally proved who was in charge and went ahead 19:14.
An expecting crowd was looking forward to the home team running over their opponents in the final 30 minutes and after the break, this seemed exactly to be the case. For a while, Gyor pulled their defense formation a bit back and it was during this period that the Hungarian squad enjoyed their best time, increasing the score to 10 goals (26:16) in a hurry. Having moved ahead so easily – Gyor’s players began to lose concentration.
At the same time, an optimistic Savehof team kept on fighting and managed to reduce the deficit to only three goals at 29:26. The visitors even had a chance to reduce the score further, which would have put the end result in doubt. But Gyor tightened their grip again and scored the last three goals of the match.
Coach Martin’s squad may still need at least a point against CSM Bucuresti when they meet next Sunday, to assure finishing in second place of Group 2. And of course, Gyor still has a chance to win the group. It will all depend on Buducnost´s road game against HC Vardar on Sunday and the results on the very last match day of the main round.
Savehof will fight for pride once again when meeting Vardar at home.