09/12/2014

Hungary show their true form and qualify for the main round

MATCH REVIEW: Fans in Audi Arena had something to celebrate on Tuesday as Hungary recorded a 29:23 win against Poland, booking Group A’s second ticket to the main round
  • Photo: Uros Hocevar

Hungary delighted the home crowd in Györ on Tuesday when they recorded a 29:23 win against Poland in their second Group A match of the Women's EHF EURO 2014.

The home side were let down in their first match (29:29 against Russia) by clearly visible nerves that were nowhere to be seen on Tuesday.

From the starting whistle Hungary looked far more confident. Though Poland were also playing a much more solid match than their first, Hungary immediately began to feed off the supportive energy in the Audi Arena.

"I think we started the match really good, in the defence and in the attack as well. And this was exactly our goal, that Poland shouldn’t be able to start the match as dynamic as Russia did," said Zita Szucsanszki.

"Moreover, we had a great goalkeeping performance behind us. And everybody could put something into the game, I’m really happy about that."

It seemed the home side could do no wrong, as goalkeeper Eva Kiss, awarded best player for Hungary, made several superb saves and almost every Hungarian shot sailed into the Polish goal with precision.

After a shaky game on Sunday, captain Zsuzsanna Tomori and Zita Szucsanszki rose to the occasion magnificently this time.

Tomori (six goals total) looked to be far more comfortable in her new role as leader, sending rockets into the goal time and time again in the first half and commanding the team in defence.

By midway through the period Hungary held a four-goal lead (7:3), which they only continued to increase as Poland tried in vain to counter the unrelenting hosts.

Karolina Kudlacz (seven goals total and best player for Poland) was keeping Poland just in touch, responsible for four of her team's seven goals in the first half.

When Tomori was substituted toward the end of the first half, Hungary's dominance calmed slightly, showing just what a strong influence she is on court.

By half-time Hungary had doubled their opponent's score at 14:7, and it looked like Poland would have quite a battle on their hands if they had any hope of taking the two points, but when the match resumed it was much the same story.

After just six minutes of play Hungary had increased their lead to nine (19:10) before Tomori received a minor injury that forced her to return to the bench, resulting in a two-minute suspension for Poland's Alina Wojtas.

Poland never gave in but Hungary held on to their lead as head coach Andras Nemeth, confident in the win, played different combinations.

When Hungary were six goals up with five minutes remaining, the match was decided.

Tuesday's win means Hungary have secured their place in the main round. Spain booked Group A's first spot for the main round earlier with a 25:24 win against Russia on Tuesday evening.

written by Courtney Gahan / ts

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