FTC produced a huge win over Fleury Loiret to claim first spot in the group of four national champions as the Women’s EHF Champions League Group Phase winds up, European Handball federation (EHF) writes.
The unbeaten French team struggled to stop the Hungarian onslaught led by Szandra Szollosi-Zacsik, who scored 11 goals, conceding as many goals in the first half as they ordinarily do in 60 minutes.
FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) vs Fleury Loiret Handball (FRA) 36:23 (24:12)
The clash of unbeaten sides started with a minute of silence to honour the victims of the tragic events in Paris on November 13, due to which it was the last game of the Group Stage only for FTC. Fleury’s Round 5 game against Thüringer was postponed and will be played in January.
A win in their final group phase match could therefore seal first place on the Group B table for the home side – and the result was put beyond doubt in no less 20 minutes.
Fleury, who conceded an average of 23 goals in their first four games, found themselves unable to stop Szollosi-Zacsik and were bombarded with 24 goals before the interval.
Szollosi-Zacsik, who gave birth to her daughter eight months ago, was simply perfect in both defense and attack, effectively winning the game for FTC.
Alexandrina Cabral Barbosa seemed to be the only Panther who could find a way past the once again excellent Melinda Szikora, but Fleury’s defence started to work in the second half and FTC were limited to 11 goals in that period.
The home side’s defence was just as effective as in the first 30 minutes however, and the French champions could not avoid a humiliating defeat despite their second-half improvements.
FTC coach Gabor Elek was pleased not only with the result, but his team’s outstanding season so far:
“We played great; I am very happy because of our performance. We made very few mistakes in attack, and even our defence was great. Our attack was all class. Thank you for everything and to everybody in the club for this fantastic half year. It was even better than in my dreams!”
FTC therefore keep their unbeaten record and deservedly win the balanced group, while Fleury will battle for second spot and points to be taken to main round with Thüringer on January 6.
TEXT: Bence Martha / cg