Green, white and red are the colours of the Euro League, as Ferencvaros, UVSE, Eger, and Plebiscito Padova have all secure spots in the Women’s Euro Cup Semi-finals.
Despite less than convincing performances in their first legs, all three Hungarian teams – Ferencvaros, UVSE, and Eger—advance from the quarter-finals, while Plebiscito Padova, Euro League bronze medallists from last season, will fly the flag for Italy.
Ferencvaros were excellent against Terrassa, winning 14-9 at home. Meanwhile, UVSE won in a similar fashion, dumping out the reigning champions, Ethnikos, with a mature last quarter. Eger had the toughest task of all the teams, but successfully overturned a three-score deficit against Vouliagmeni via a dramatic penalty shoot-out. Plebiscito Padova, with a potential banana skin in Lille, did not slip up.
Ethnikos 9 – 13 UVSE (1-1, 2-2, 4-5, 2-5)
Ethnikos: E. Sotireli, A. Karampetsou 1, M. Borisova, E. Beta, I. Kontoni 1, E. Katsimpri 1, F. Chatzikyriaki, A. Benekou, M. Rakintzi 1, E. Kanetidou 3, L. Benekou, C. Andrews 1, A. Bekri
UVSE: A. Magyari, T. Aubeli 1, E. Macsai 1, P. Tiba, G. Szucs, E. Varro, V. Baksa 2, K. Farago 2, P. Szegedi 2, K. Hajdu, Z. Lendvay, K. Peresztegi-Nagy 2, S. Golopencza.
UVSE are through to the semi-finals of the Euro Cup after a quite outstanding away performance in Piraeus. Having tied 10-10 in Budapest, any victory would do, but having held in for three quarters, a clinical last quarter secured the snatch and grab victory for the reigning Hungarian champions.
A hat-trick for Kamilla Farago, and excellent scoring contributions from Vanda Baksa, Panni Szegedi, Eszter Macsai, and Kinga Peresztegi-Nagy pulled off Ujpest’s best result of the season.
Ethnikos might rue not taking all the chances that came their way in the first leg. The game was totally even today, but it was the hunger of UVSE’s players that was the deciding factor.
The two teams were inseparable after eight minutes. Kamilla Farago, who missed the first leg through injury, netted the game’s opener via an extra-player move, but Charlize Andrews of Ethnikos equalised the same way with a minute to play in the quarter.
So evenly matched were the teams, neither could find a way past the other, aside from an extra-player advantage. Peresztegi-Nagy and Macsai found the target for the Hungarians, while Ethnikos responded promptly through a double tally from Eleni Kanetidou.
The third period was incredibly interesting, as it finally looked like one of the sides would take a decisive step, and it was Ethnikos who looked like the ones who might take the win.
Ioulia Kontoni’s well-taken penalty, and a third goal from Kanetidou put the Blue-Whites ahead 5-4. From there, Ethnikos kept adding goals, but UVSE, with incredible spirit, fought back to 5-5, 6-6 and then 7-7 before Vanda Baksa, arguably one of UVSE’s best players today, gave her side a one-goal lead to clutch onto in the last quarter (8-7).
Everyone inside the Papastrateio swimming pool braced for a dramatic final eight minutes, and Ethnikos equalised almost immediately into the last quarter via Maria Rakintzi (8-8). But UVSE, who have had almost nothing to cheer about this season, were not going to let a semi-final opportunity slip away.
Led by the brilliant performance of Panni Szegedi, who scored two spectacular goals (a lob and a breakaway score), UVSE dominated the final three minutes of the game, putting them ahead by two (10-8). But the excitement wasn’t over yet. Kamilla Farago struck a thunderbolt, and Kata Hajdu added the icing on the cake with a tap-in at the back post, sealing a thrilling quarter-final victory for UVSE.
ZF Eger 19 – 15 NC Vouliagmeni (3-4, 4-1, 3-4, 4-2, PSO: 5-4)
Eger: A. Kiss, P. Jancsco 1, I. Borsi 3, R. Parkes 2, D. Molnar, E. Weston, S. Szilagyi, D. Czigany 5, B. Kekesi, F. Bodi, C. Szellak 3, D. Szilagyi 5, M. Dulic
Vouliagmeni: M. Kotsioni, S. Kaiafa 1, D. Kalogeropoulou, E. Elliniadi 5, A. Giannopoulou 1, A. Ridge 2, E. Tankeeva, E. Wright 4, K. Statidaki, D. Andreadi, M. Mimidis, F. Angelidi 2, E. Patra
Eger’s incredible comeback at Bitskey left the fans on the edge of their seats, as they powered through to the semi-finals with a nail-biting win over Vouliagmeni.
Down by three goals from the first leg, Eger rose to the challenge and delivered a breathtaking performance, clinching the match 14-11 on the night and forcing the game into a high-stakes penalty shootout.
The tension was palpable as the players stepped up to take their shots, with only one miss from Nautical Club’s Stamatina Kaiafa.
Eger’s Dorottya Szilagyi and Dora Czigany shone, scoring four goals each in normal time and delivering clutch penalties in the shootout to secure their place in the semi-finals.
Elliniadi also played a major role for the Greeks, scoring four goals of her own, but it wasn’t enough to stop Eger’s unstoppable surge.
The first quarter of the match saw Vouliagmeni take a narrow lead, with a score of 4-3. Eleni Elliniadi made two incredible power play conversions, while Amy Ridge and Stamatina Kaiafa added two quick goals in under 40 seconds.
However, the tide of the game shifted in the second quarter, as Eger took control with a two-score lead. Former Hungarian International, Dora Czigany, made her mark on the game with two crucial goals, one at the start and one at the end of the quarter, giving her team a strong 7-5 advantage at halftime.
Vouliagmeni tried their best to keep up, but Eger held their distance, twice leveling the overall tie with a crucial three-goal margin. It was Dorka Szilagyi who erased Vouliagmeni’s first-leg advantage with two crucial goals, first for 9-6 and then for 10-7.
The Nautical Club of Kiki Liosi fought hard, knowing they didn’t have to win but couldn’t afford to lose by three goals. In the second half, they managed to narrow Eger’s lead to just a single goal in the third quarter and two goals in the last, but could never manage to close the gap further. With the game on the line, Dora Czigany added the all-important score for 14-11, which held through to a dramatic penalty shootout.
The final moments of the match came down to the last penalty. Eger saw Szilagyi, Czigany, Szellak, Jancso, and Parkes all convert, while Elliniadi, Giannopoulou, Wright, and Angelidi did the same for Vouligameni. But in the end, it was Victoria Kiss who made the game-winning save, stopping Stamatina Kaiafa’s shot and sending Eger to the semifinals.
FTC Telekom 14 – 9 CN Terrassa (5-3, 2-1, 4-2, 3-3)
FTC: B. Neszmely, B. Vosseberg, Z. Mate 1, G. Gurisatti 1, P. Pocze, T. Farkas 2, D. Leimeter 3, A. Illes 2, S. Kuna 2, P. Petik 1, D. Toth-Csabai 2, D. Domsodi, L. Greso
Terrassa: S. Domene, A. Finestra, K. Paul, N. Cuenda 1, C. Cantero, D. Quinzada, N. Ten Broek 2, P. Pena 3, D. Menakerman, P. Camus 1, F. Bosveld 2, M. Fernandez, E. Arcas
Ferencvaros kept their European dream alive with a comfy 14-9 win over Terrassa at Nepliget.
The Hungarians trailed by two scores in the first leg, but there is no doubt they deserve their place in the semi-finals with a one-sided display in the second leg. Terrassa looked like they might mean business in the first quarter, taking a 2-0 lead, but after that Fradi were rampant, cutting the deficit with ease.
Xavi Perez will be incredibly disappointed with how his team faced up to the challenge in the second leg. They had a big chance to progress, having led by two goals in the first leg. They couldn’t make it count though.
Terrassa got off to the perfect start in the contest, taking a 2-0 lead. Paula Camus finished off the 6 on 5 well, before Pili Pena’s deflected shot evaded Boglarka Neszmely. FTC got straight back into the game though via two penalty scores (Kuna and Leimeter), before Dora Toth-Csabai bagged the next two goals in the game to put the hosts ahead in the tie.
Fradi led 5-3 after the first eight minutes, but that was slashed to just a single score when Pili Pena netted her second of the game inside the first minute of the new quarter. Illes scored a beautiful lob for Fradi to regain the two-goal buffer, and while Terrassa had the chance to narrow the scoreline to one goal from the penalty spot, Pili Pena could only find the post. Fradi, taking full advantage, went up the other end of the pool to immediately score, taking a 7-4 lead into the break.
Fradi continued to dictate proceedings in the fourth, and despite Terrassa’s best efforts, they weren’t creating enough in the final third, and couldn’t stop their hosts from scoring. Gurisatti, Illes, two goals from Tamara Farkas put Fradi all but out of sight before the last quarter (11-6).
Szonja Kuna put FTC 12-6 to the good, and practically home and dry, before Dora Leimeter made it 13 two minutes later. Two late scores from Terrassa’s Dutch duo of Ten Broek and Bosveld were nothing more than consolation prizes.
LUC Metropole 5 – 11 Plebiscito Padova (2-3, 1-2, 1-4, 1-2)
Lille: M. Rycraw, M. Ouchache, L. Baes, G. Fitaire, E. Hardy 1, G. Deike, V. Kordonskaia 1, E.Bovali, O. Hertzka 2, M. O’Reilly 1 , N. Meijer , A. Kochetova, E. Lefebvre.
Padova: L. Teani, L. Barzon , V. Valyi 1, G. Citino 3, E. Queirolo 1, A. Casson 1, A. Millo 1, S. Dario, H. McKelvey, C. Meggiato 1, S. Centanni 2, B. Cassara 1, C. Giacon
Plebiscito Padova finished the job off without any trouble against Lille, bossing their hosts 11-5 at Marx Dormoy swimming pool.
While a shock might well have been on the cards, Plebiscito made sure that they got the job done in Northern France, and progressed to their second successive European semi-final.
Giusy Citino stole the show with a masterful hat-trick, but Plebiscito’s offensive success was a true team effort. The match started off slow with a goal from Hungarian Orsolya Hertzka for Lille, but Plebiscito responded quickly, leading to a back-and-forth battle. With under two minutes left to play in the first quarter, Vanda Valyi gave Plebiscito their first lead, and one they would hold until the final whistle.
The second quarter was all about Plebiscito as they took control of the game with two goals in a minute from Giusy Citino, putting them up 5-2 and leading the overall tie by five goals. Despite Lille’s relentless effort, they just couldn’t keep up with Plebiscito’s domination, who put the game to bed in the third quarter with three consecutive goals from Centanni, Queirolo, and Meggiato.
Just to add insult to injury, Citino completed her hat-trick in the third, followed by a second goal from Sara Centanni, sending the Italians to the Euro Cup semi-finals.
Euro Cup Schedule
1st leg – 25 February 2023
2nd leg – 11 March 2023
1st leg – 25 March 2023
2nd leg – 29 March 2023
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