FTC seal play-off berth with stylish comeback

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EHF / Adrian Costeiu

FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria produced a flawless comeback in the second half against SG BBM Bietigheim to take a crucial 28:23 win in group A of the EHF Champions League Women, which enabled the Hungarian side to clinch a berth in the play-offs.

MOTW: FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) vs SG BBM Bietigheim (GER) 28:23 (10:12)

  • with a 6:0 run spanning from the 37th to the 45th minute, spurred by Emily Bölk and Angela Malestein, FTC turned the game on its head and sealed a crucial win
  • former FTC goalkeeper Melinda Szikora, had an outstanding match once again facing her former side, saving 16 shots for a 37 per cent save efficiency, but could not prevent the loss
  • Bietigheim have now failed to register a win in their last eight games, tying their worst winless streak in the EHF Champions League Women
  • FTC right back Katrin Klujber was once again the top scorer of her side, putting seven goals past the Bietigheim defence, to take her overall tally in this season to 85 goals
  • Dutch right wing Angela Malestein, who also scored seven goals for FTC, was named the Player of the Match of the Week after delivering an excellent performance for the Hungarian side

FTC celebrate win on their home court

After nearly two years, centre back Aniko Cirjenics-Kovacsics returned to the FTC line-up in Europe's premier competition and celebrated the comeback with the Hungarian side's most important win of the season. The 28:23 comeback against SG BBM Bietigheim helped FTC seal their play-off berth, but the Hungarian side may have to win against Odense in their last match of the group phase to secure fourth place in group A.

Both Katrin Klujber and Angela Malestein scored seven goals in this game, helping their side to clinch the win, while Bietigheim are definitely in a rut after falling from a prospective quarter-finalist to a side that will fight to save their season in the last round against DHK Banik Most.

Only two sides – Banik Most and Lokomotiva Zagreb – have worse winless streaks than Bietigheim right now, as the German side’s 64-game unbeaten run, which spanned until October, is now a thing of the past.

Credit for the photos in this article: Fradi.hu and Micheller Szilvia

20230204 FTC Gabor Elek Quote
It was a special and complex game. We knew the stakes and our away defeat still was in our heads. In the first half, we made it hard for ourselves. We missed a lot of chances and we had unnecessary penalties. In the second half, it was important to start well, Blanka Bíró was amazing in the goal, and our attacking play got better with the support from the back.
Gabor Elek
Coach, FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria
We controlled the first half, we were better in defence and attack, we could make some fast breaks and led by two. I don’t know what happened in the second half. We couldn’t stop them in defence and couldn’t play our fast game. I’m very disappointed.
Veronika Mala
Left wing, SG BBM Bietigheim

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