02 Jun. 2023
For the first time in history, two teams from the same country will feature in the EHF FINAL4 Women, as Györi Audi ETO KC and FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria will look to set a 100% Hungarian final in the MVM Dome in Budapest.
The top four teams in the EHF Champions League Women will clash this weekend in Hungary's capital, with two Nordic teams, Denmark's Team Esbjerg and Norway's Vipers Kristiansand, looking to spoil the party in what projects to be a packed arena.
The first semi-final will pit together Györi Audi ETO KC and Vipers Kristiansand in a rematch of last season's final, won by Vipers (33:31), which enabled Ole Gustav Gjekstad's side to secure their second title in a row.
Vipers can become the second team in history to win the title in the EHF Champions League Women three times in a row, a performance previously secured only by Györ, as legendary goalkeeper Katrine Lunde aims to secure her seventh crown in the European premium competition, setting a new record.
Lunde is the only player who won the 2021 IHF Women's World Championship with Norway, but she will face stiff competition from Györ, the most decorated team in the history of the European premium competition, with five titles.
Györ's coach, Ambros Martin, will take part in his eighth EHF FINAL4 before leaving the Hungarian side to take over Spain's women's national team and hopes to end his second reign at the Hungarian champions on a high.
For Györ, the All-Star goalkeeper at the 2021 IHF Women's World Championship, Sandra Toft, and the MVP of the world handball flagship competition, Kari Dale, who returned to the court in March after giving birth, will aim to secure the trophy, adding to their trophy cabinet.
The second semi-final will pit together FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria and Team Esbjerg, two teams that have never secured a win in the EHF FINAL4, as FTC will make their debut in Budapest, where they will be cheered on by their fans.
The All-star left back at Spain 2021, Henny Reistad, is poised to become the leading all-time goal scorer at the EHF FINAL4, needing only ten goals to leapfrog Dutch centre back Nycke Groot and Anita Görbicz, who scored 57 goals in their previous appearances.
Esbjerg have six reigning world champions in their ranks, including Nora Mørk, as the right back will challenge Lunde to become the first player to win seven titles in the EHF Champions League after leaving reigning champions Vipers for Esbjerg last summer.
EHF FINAL4 – schedule
Saturday, 3 June
15:15 CEST Györi Audi ETO KC (HUN) vs Vipers Kristiansand (NOR)
18:00 CEST FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) vs Team Esbjerg (DEN)
Sunday, 4 June
15:15 CEST Loser Game 1 vs Loser Game 2
18:00 CEST Winner Game 1 vs Winner Game 2
Photo: Terje Refsnes / May Elin Aunli