According to the European Handball Federation, Győri Audi ETO KC defended their Champions League title in the first ever MVM EHF Final4 as the Hungarians beat ZRK Buducnost 27-21. The holders controlled the game all the way while Buducnost never really threatened to make it a tight game. After Hypo Niederösterreich, Slagelse and Viborg they became only the fourth team in 21 years of the EHF Champions League history who successfully defended the title.
MVM EHF FINAL4 final:
Buducnost vs Györi Audi ETO KC 21:27 (10:15)
The European Handball Federation said, the holders wasted no time to send the jam-packed Papp László Sportarena into a frenzy with a flying start that saw them immediately take a two goal lead. Buducnost attacks lacked dynamism and it took the Montenegrins almost seven minutes to get past Katrine Lunde, who started well in the Győr’s goal.
Close quarter combats resulted in the injury of Suzana Lazovic before Milena Knezevic and Katrine Lunde needed help from their team doctors, which said everything about how intense the game was. Győr managed to outmove the Montenegrin wall and gained a five goal lead as early as the 13th minutes and Dragan Adzic had to take his first time-out.
Cristina Neagu, who scored three of her team’s four goals tried to keep pace with Győr and Buducnost did manage to close the gap to three goals.
Győr in firm control
The European Handball Federation said, Eduarda Amorim not only kept Dragana Cvijic at bay but scored three goals as Buducnost lacked their usual intensity both in attack and defence. The Montenegrins struggled at both ends and were fighting to stay in the game, let alone making it a tight score.
While Lunde and the massive Győr wall did a great job in most of the first half, Camilla Dalby joined her Romanian team mate on the scoreboard with four thunderbolts that kept Buducnost in sight, however, Győr went to the break with a five goal lead.
The 10-15 halftime result raised doubts over fittness of the Montenegrins, who had had four hours less to rest for the final on top of the 70 minutes semi-final drama the had been through on Saturday.
Buducnost not done yet
Cvijic and Neagu brough Buducnost closer at the beginning of the second half and Woltering made some crucial saves to show they were not going to go down without a fight. Győr had a short period when the Buducnost wall managed to stop them and for a few minutes the Montenegrins threatened to come really close to the holders.
15 minutes from the final whistle Buducnost came back to three goals when Amorim was sent off for two minutes but the question whether that was to be a turning point of the final hung only for a couple of seconds. Knezevic was sent off for a foul on Görbicz, who scored and the excellent Orbán made it five again.
It was the last chance for Buducnost to turn the tide.
Undefeated and undisputed champion
According to the European Handball Federation, nine minutes before stoppage time there was a mountain to climb for Buducnost: they were trailing Győr by five goals and were almost out of steam due to their semi-final duties from Saturday. Buducnost deserve full size respect for not giving in and giving their all but it was obvious from the 20th minute they were no match for the superior Hungarians.
Even a double man advantage was not enough for consolation for the visitors as Lunde put an end to the final four minutes from the end.
Standing ovation from the sellout crowd greeted the holders who went undefeated the entire season.