In the match between FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria and Metz in Main Round Group II, the two teams were battling for the second place in the group – Vardar had already secured the first place before. In the first match between the two teams, Metz won 27-25 so FTC needed an at least three-goal win (or a two-goal win with less than 25 goals conceded) to come closer to the second place of the group. The beginning of the match brought two nervous teams as the first goal of the match came after 7 and a half minutes. Even though Metz scored the first, FTC took up the rhythm quickly and got an early 4-1 lead. Blanka Bíró showed an excellent performance in the Hungarian goal so Metz had a hard time scoring. After FTC was leading by 4 goals (8-4), Metz slowly came back into the game and even had more chances to equalize after 9-8, but they missed all of their chances. In the last minutes of the first half, three Hungarian goals remained unanswered by the guests so the half time was a promising 13-9 for the hosts.
The second half was going in the same way as the first. FTC was running in front, with a spectacular performance from Blanka Bíró, but Metz was running close behind. The home team couldn’t work out a bigger advantage than 4 goals, and to make it even worse for them, they lost the pillar of the defense, Danick Snelder due to a red card with 15 minutes left from the game. This caused some problems in the upcoming minutes in defense, but when Anikó Kovacsics, probably the best FTC-player in the second half, scored and made it 24-19, things were looking good for the Hungarians. Ailly Luciano, who suffered a seemingly serious ankle injury in the first half, came back to the court and this was an important moment for the French team as her goals helped Metz keep the hopes for the second place alive. The last minutes brought a lot of excitement – and when Laurisa Landre scored with a few seconds left from the match, Metz made sure FTC wouldn’t win by three goals. Despite Dóra Hornyák’s spectacular overtime free throw goal, Metz was happier with the 29-27 Hungarian win. This brought the French side closer to the quarterfinals and to the second leg played at home.
EHF Champions League – Main Round Group II
FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria – Metz Handball 29-27 (13-9)
FTC: A. Kovacsics 6, N. Schatzl 6, N. Pena 6, L. van der Heijden 5(5), D. Faluvégi 3, K. Szekeres 1, V. Lukács 1, D. Hornyák 1
Metz: A. Gros 5, M. Houette 5(2), J. Luciano 4, L. Landre 4, G. Zaadi 3, O. Kanor 2, H. Sajka 2(2), M. Maubon 2
Penalties: 5/5 ; 4/6
Suspensions: 12 minutes ; 4 minutes