Two nail-biting matches this evening marked a thrilling beginning to the Hungarian women’s league playoffs.
Ferencvaros won, but were hardly convincing against Eger (13-11). Fradi, the only undefeated team in their domestic league, will have an extremely tough game away at the weekend, but know a victory could take them to their first ever national championship final.
Meanwhile, the rollercoaster season for UVSE saw its latest dip, with an agonising shoot-out defeat to Dunaujvaros (14-13). Ujpest really should have won the match, and might well rue this result on Saturday evening when they travel South to Dunaujvaros. If Dunaujvaros do indeed win on Saturday, UVSE’s eight year reign as queens of the Hungarian league will come to an abrupt end.
2022/2023 Hungarian League, Play-offs, Semi-finals
FTC Telekom 13 – 11 ZF Eger (3-3, 3-3, 4-2, 3-3)
FTC: B. Neszmely, B. Vosseberg, Z. Mate 2, G. Gurisatti 2, P. Pocze, T. Farkas 2, D. Leimeter 2, A. Illes 3, S. Kuna 1, P. Petik, D. Toth Csabai 1, D. Domsodi, E. Millot, L. Greso
Eger: A. Kiss 1, P. Jancso, I. Borsi 4, R. Parkes 1, D. Molnar, Z. Katona 1, E. Weston, D. Czigany 3, B. Kekesi, F. Bodi, C. Szellak, D. Szilagyi 1, S. Szilagyi, M. Dulic
UVSE 13 – 14 Dunaujvaros (2-2, 3-3, 3-2, 2-3, PSO: 3-4)
UVSE: A. Magyari, T. Aubeli 1, E. Macsai 2, Z. Koka, G. Szucs 1, N. Golopencza, V. Baksa, K. Farago 3, P. Szegedi 1, N. Rybanska 1, R. Irmes, K. Peresztegi-Nagy 2, K. Hajdu 2, E. Karpati
Dunaujvaros: L. Maczko, D. Kardos, N. Sajben, L. Dobi Dorina 3, B. Horvath, G. Mahieu 1, N. Szabo 4, K. Garda 6, A. Mandula, L. Somogyvari, R. Pal, N. Sumegi, L. Kardos, L. Aarts
In the first of the two semi-finals games, Ferencvaros continued their impressive winning streak from the regular season by overpowering Eger in a nail-biting 13-11 victory.
The Hungarian Cup champions faced a rocky start, trailing behind with a 3-0 deficit in the first four minutes of play. However, a remarkable first-half hat-trick by the Olympic silver medalist, Anna Illes, spurred Ferencvaros on and helped level the score at 3-3, and later at 4-4. The tide turned in the third period, when Fradi seized the lead for the first time (7-6).
Two former BVSC players, Tamara Farkas and Zsuzsanna Mate, united to extend Ferencvaros’ lead by two goals (9-7), putting them in a commanding position for the first time in the match.
Despite a few tense moments, the Greens held their ground and secured a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-three series. It was a gritty performance by both teams, but its advantage Ferencvaros ahead of the next meeting between the two teams on Saturday.
A few kilometres north on Margitsziget, it took penalties to separate old foes UVSE and Dunaujvaros, as the travelling team took a hugely significant win, potentially spelling the end of UVSE’s long reign at the summit of Hungarian water polo.
Attila Mihok’s side really needed to hold on at times as UVSE controlled proceedings for the majority of the match, but with Ujpest unable to kill the game, DFVE found a way to take the match to penalties – which they ultimately won.
At no point in normal time did Ujvaros hold the lead, in fact at four junctures it was UVSE who led by two scores. The visitors always had a chance though, thanks to five goals in normal time from their talisman, Krisztina Garda.
After finishing 10-10 in normal time, the shootout was certainly an interesting one, with both keepers making saves, and both sides missing the target altogether. In the end, it was Kata Hajdu and Eszter Macsai – who previously scored her first penalty in the shoot-out – then had her penalty saved by Dutch international, Laura Aarts.
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