Hungary open account with big win over Great Britain

11 Apr. 2024

Hungary open account with big win over Great Britain

Hosts Hungary opened their account in the Olympic Qualification Tournament #1, played in Debrecen, with a big win against Great Britain, as they now look forward to crunch ties against Sweden and Japan for the coveted Paris 2024 Olympic Games ticket.

Olympic Qualification Tournament #1
Hungary vs Great Britain 49:11 (24:6)

Due to their experience and depth, Hungary were overwhelming favourites against Great Britain, the team which was a last-minute addition in the Olympic Qualification Tournament #1, replacing Cameroon, as the African side failed to obtain their visas for the competition, making their trip to Hungary impossible.

With three matches in four days, it was expected for coach Vladimir Golovin to rest some key players in this match, which was the easiest for Hungary on paper, but instead the hosts went full throttle from the start, bringing their best players into the fold from the first minute.

Therefore, it was no surprise that the first six goals for Hungary came from either right back Katrin Klujber, or right wing Viktória Győri-Lukács, two of their most experienced players, who set the tone and helped their side jump to an early 6:2 lead, as Great Britain found Hungary’s rhythm of passing too fast.

Nevertheless, the British side, which made its debut at an Olympic Qualification Tournament, found their rhythm and a 3:1 run helped them cut the gap to only five goals, 10:5, after 15 minutes, as Mark Hawkins’ team looked back in business. 

However, Hungary conceded only one more goal in the next 14 minutes, scoring 14 in the process, with their efficiency soaring to 73%, while goalkeeper Zsófi Szemerey served a masterclass between the posts, stopping seven shots for a 57% saving efficiency.

The hosts continued to keep the rhythm high, opening an 18-goals gap at the break, 24:6, with a clear focus on fast breaks and a proper rhythm of play, and the gap grew even bigger, as Great Britain tinkered with the idea of a seven-on-six stint on the court, replacing their goalkeeper with another outfield player.

The decision did not help Great Britain establish a greater efficiency in attack and all the balls lost were transformed into easy open goals by Hungary, which scored five times in a row in Great Britain’s open goal, seeing the gap soar to 26 goals, 34:8, with 17 minutes and 30 seconds left on the clock.

As only one outfield player failed to score for Hungary, the gap grew even bigger, with excellent transition and fast breaks for the hosts, which eventually went to secure a clear 49:11 win.

On Friday, Hungary will face Sweden in a crucial clash for their future in this Olympic Qualification Tournament, while Great Britain play against Japan, in another big challenge regarding the tempo and the speed of the game.

hummel Player of the Match: Dorottya Faluvégi (Hungary)