Györi Audi ETO (HUN) vs Hypo Niederöstereich (AUT) 41:22 (21:11)
The defending champions showed in no uncertain terms that they will be the prime candidates to retain the trophy after an emphatic performance against Hypo, with their stellar new signing Katarina Bulatović inspired on her European debut for the Hungarian title holders.
Györ took no time to get into their stride and following an early 1:0 advantage for the visitors, they romped into an 8:3 lead with Montenegrin right back Bulatović scoring three goals from as many attempts.
The gulf in class was everywhere to be seen as Hypo could not match the home team’s pace, versatility and individual quality, with goals raining in from all angles as Györ turned on the heat.
Brazilian right wing Alexandra do Nascimento was a lone beacon of light for Hypo, but her prolific scoring was not enough to keep Györ at bay as the home team used the depth of their roster to devastating effect.
Norway’s legendary pivot Heidi Löke led Györ’s first-half charge with four goals while Bulatović, playmaker Anita Görbicz and Adrienn Orban netted three each, underlining the home team’s staggering 81 per cent scoring rate which cancelled out Do Nascimento’s valiant five-goal effort for Hypo.
Györ kept their feet on the gas pedal after the break, effortlessly increasing their lead to 31:17 halfway through the second period as Löke kept finding chinks in Hypo’s porous defence.
The advantage swelled to 37:20 with seven minutes left on the clock as the home team could even afford to rest their first-choice goalkeeper Katrine Lunde and give Orsolya Herr a chance. Pivot Dora Hornyak put the icing on the cake of Györ’s majestic performance with a spectacular goal in the dying seconds, which sparked a standing ovation from the home crowd.
Source: European Handball Federation