The last quarterfinal was played between Győri Audi ETO KC and Metz in a completely sold-out Audi Aréna Győr. After FTC’s elimination against CSM Bucuresti, it was Győr’s time to qualify for the FINAL4 as a “home team”. Despite the somewhat surprising 1-goal defeat in France last weekend, the odds were still on the Hungarian side as it is almost mission impossible to beat the Hungarian champions in their own hall.
Metz put up a great fight against Győr in the first match in France, so they were hoping for the same way for the second match – but this time a different ETO stood on the other side of the court. With more than 5000 green-white fans on their side, Győr’s almost non-existing defense from the first match was much more stable right from the first minutes. Even though it was not easy to score against the rock hard French defense and Laura Glauser, the Hungarians managed to find the gaps and mostly with excellent performances from Eduarda Amorim (6 goals in the first half) and Nycke Groot, Győr took a comfortable lead right in the first quarter of the game. A little blackout meant Metz was back at 1 goal (10-9) but this was the last time when Metz had the FINAL4 in reach. The last 10 minutes of the half were once again clearly better for the home team and their lead (17-12) at halftime was well-deserved.
Even in a tough situation like this, Metz didn’t give up the fight as they used every little blackout of the Hungarians to climb up. When Anita Görbicz scored a magic goal to raise the roof of Audi Aréna Győr, the duel seemed to be decided. Győr was in front, keeping Metz in a comfortable distance and didn’t leave a single piece of doubt about which is the better team and which team will book the last place in the TIPPMIX EHF FINAL4. Metz showed a great fighting spirit, the French girls didn’t give up for a second during the 120 minutes of the duel and deserve all the compliments they get for their great season in Europe’s top club competition, but Győr’s place is well-deserved among the TOP4 teams in Europe. The only reason to worry for the home fans was the painful face of Eduarda Amorim in the second half – but in the end it turned out it was just a cramp so the sharpshooter will be fit for the rest of the season. Győri Audi ETO KC won the match confidently (28-22), with a lot better game than last week in France, for the greatest joy of 5000 loyal fans – the party started with a ticket to Budapest in the pocket.
EHF Champions League – Quarterfinals – 2nd leg
Győri Audi ETO KC – Metz Handball 28-22 (17-12)
Győri Audi ETO KC: E. Amorim 7, N. Groot 6, Y. Broch 5, A. Görbicz 4(2), N. Mörk 3, Zs. Tomori 2, J. Knedlikova 1
Metz Handball: X. Smits 4, J. Luciano 4, A. Gros 4, G. Zaadi 4(3), M. Maubon 2, L. Flippes 2, T. Horacek 1, H. N’Diaye 1
Penalties: 2/2 ; 3/4
Suspensions: 4 minutes ; 8 minutes