Can a miracle be done again? This was the question that had been on the minds of our fans since last Saturday, and given that we started the second leg against Metz six goals down and that our rivals had not even been beaten for six months, it was no exaggeration to suggest that a miracle could have been achieved. We had to believe in it, and it helped that a good number of Fradi fans were there to support the team on Saturday, and that the warm-up was a "go Fradi", and that we could remember a game in 2021 when we had overcome a six-goal deficit with a nine-goal victory. True, the unforgettable victory against Győr was achieved at home, and this time the second match came in France - after a serious lead-up. The warm-up was over a quarter of an hour before start, after which the locals enhanced the atmosphere with lights, sound and cheerleaders, no doubt preparing for a celebration, whereas we wanted to take the victory away.
It was very important for us to be more stable at the back, that's why Zita Szucsánszki started at centre and as back, and the first ten or fifteen minutes didn't go badly. Only once Metz could play with an advantage, and apart from that we were always in the lead, with two first at 6-8. We stepped up to block the crosses, as we had done a week ago, and this weapon was nicely blunted by the home side, and although it allowed Sarah Bouktit to have more freedom in the box, it was the lesser evil. Up front, it was Gréta Márton and Katrin Klujber who shone, but towards the middle of the half it was clear that we needed to find good solutions from the far zones, because we couldn't find our forwards in the retreating Metz wall. Because of that we were stuck in front, the home team gained momentum and turned the score around (11-9). Kinga Janurik's save came in time, she didn't let the faith go, thanks to Szandra Szöllősi-Zácsik's good finishing we equalized soon after, and with Katrin Klujber's empty net goal we were leading again (12-13). By this time it turned out that we had made a significant step forward in terms of positioning compared to the first leg, and we were in the game thanks to that, but we needed defence or extra goalkeeping to have more daring dreams - we could go to the break with a draw (17-17).
It was no surprise that both coaches changed goalkeepers, Blanka Bíró for us and Camille Depuiset for them, and we were happy to see that Bíró kicked Jörgensen's penalty straight away, so we started the game with a man down and took the lead. Our defence became tougher, we seemed to be more free in the front, we attacked with ideas and with an excellent run we increased our lead to four (20-24)! We got a timeout from Emmanuel Mayonnade, but our defence worked fantastic with Bíró Blanka, we broke the long scoring drought and led by five. All of our players were incredibly focused, we hurried when we could and slowed the game down when we couldn't, and with this performance we created the opportunity to dream of a miracle with about a quarter of an hour to go (21-27).
Another quarter of an hour of perfect handball was needed, because Metz was sucking, but the fire was burning in our eyes and the away section was on fire. We turned for the last ten minutes and had our first chance to attack for the seventh goal of the game, but Angela Malestein failed to score and at the other end Bouktit scored from seven. What didn't work from the right wing was solved by Bölk a few minutes later from a break-in, and with just over seven minutes to go we were through (23-30)! Then Bölk again (23-31) after another world class save by Bíró, but then came the answer from Bouktit, it was an amazing thrill. As time was running out, every goal seemed to double the importance, with four minutes to go Klujber again made it eight, and we could write the same down a minute later, after Malestein's seventh.
There was no man who believed it, but Bíró grabbed another penalty and we were heading for the point where a single goal could be enough for salvation. But Paula scored after we had spoiled our attack, and then Lekic missed a free shot, with only a minute left when Metz came on for the match nil, while Tomori was sent off. But the French didn't even get to a shooting position, because Greta Márton scored, we could go forward with a man down, but unfortunately the passive signal came quickly. Twenty-three seconds left when we called time-out, ten when Metz could have got the ball, but only had time for a free-throw beyond the time limit - Maslova stepped up but hit it into the block!
Miracle, Miracle! Indescribable! We overcame a six-goal deficit and Ferencváros reached the FINAL4 for the first time in their history!
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