The quarterfinals of the EHF Women’s Champions League started on Friday evening in Bucharest where the title holders CSM Bucuresti faced FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria. The match started with a crazy run for both sides as neither of the defenses, nor the goalkeepers were dominant in the beginning. The two teams scored after each other, but it was Paula Ungureanu who started to help her team with some great saves. One of the best goalkeepers of the Main Round, Blanka Bíró had to be replaced by Melinda Szikora, and in attack, FTC struggled to find the ideal team to be the most effective against CSM Bucuresti. Anikó Kovacsics on one side and Bella Gulldén on the other side stood on the top of their teams as the two teams went side by side, with CSM taking the first significant lead (16-11). However, FTC is not famous for giving up at the first obstacle: the team of Gábor Elek, even missing the injured Zita Szucsánszki but counting on also injured Szandra Zácsik, stood up after being 5 goals behind and reduced the gap to 2 goals before the halftime whistle (17-15).
The second half didn’t bring any change in the game flow, CSM tried but wasn’t able to work out a bigger lead than 2-3 goals. FTC, led by Anikó Kovacsics, kept going strong and didn’t let the defending champions go. Whenever Bucharest seemed to be on the right track towards the FINAL4, FTC put pressure on the Romanian champions. The difference wasn’t bigger than 2-3 goals in the second half, which meant the Hungarians seemed to be in a good position before the return leg in Budapest next weekend. However, the last minutes turned out to be bad for the fresh Hungarian Cup winners as CSM went up quickly from one goal to five in the final minutes. The five goals difference means that Bucuresti is closer to the FINAL4, however, their 5-goal-advantage can be easily turned over if they believe that they are heading to the László Papp Sports Arena already… One thing is sure: we will see an exciting clash in Budapest next weekend where both teams will have the chance to fight for their lives in this year’s Champions League.
EHF Women’s Champions League – Quarterfinals – 1st leg
CSM Bucuresti – FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria 30-25 (17-15)
CSM Bucuresti: I. Gulldén 10, C. Martín 6, M. Mehmedovic 4, C. Ayglon Saurina 3, B. Bazaliu 2, A. Bradeanu 2, O. Manea 2, G. Niombla 1
FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria: A. Kovacsics 10, N. Pena 6, V. Lukács 4, N. Schatzl 2, Sz. Zácsik 2, A. Szarka 1
Penalties: 4/4 ; 5/6
Suspensions: 2 minutes ; 6 minutes