Hungary claim commanding opening win

19 Mar. 2021

Hungary claim commanding opening win

In Győr, Hungary made their first step towards Tokyo 2020, opening the Tokyo Handball Qualification 2020 – Tournament 2 with a victory against Kazakhstan. 

After a somewhat slow start, the home team greatly improved and fully confirmed their status as the favourites, earning an impressive 46:19 victory. 

Kazakhstan vs Hungary 19:46 (8:20)

When the two teams met at the 2019 IHF Women’s World Championship, Hungary claimed a 39:15 victory. Today,  they won by even more, scoring 46 goals. 

Kazakhstan’s captain Irina Alexandrova opened the score 46 seconds into the match, but it was their only lead during the 60 minutes.

But while Hungary soon seized the momentum, they had some problems with their opponent’s aggressive defence early in the match. By the 13th minute, the Hungary led by just a small margin, 7:6, as Alexandrova scored three goals for Kazakhstan. 

However, then Hungary improved their defence and started to score from fast breaks, using a 5:0 run to pull clear at 12:7. 

That gave the home team confidence, and they restricted their opponents to just two goals during the rest of the first half. Kazakhstan’s Veronika Khardina got a red card for a rough challenge on Nadine Schatzl, and as Blanka Biro made numerous saves, Hungary led by 12 goals by half-time, 20:8.

“The opening game was extremely important for us. I’m happy that I could give a chance to all my players, and I’m delighted with our mentality. But with all due respect to Kazakhstan, the most important games are yet to come,” Hungary’s coach Gabor Elek said. 

In the second half, Hungary picked up where they left off, and although coach Gabor Elek rotated his players, they continued to fully dominate on the court. By minute 45, the hosts enjoyed almost a triple advantage, 35:12.

As many as 12 Hungarian players put their names on the scoresheet, with Viktoria Lukacs netting seven times and Katrin Klujber six.

Photo: HHF/Anikó Kovács