Champions League winners Sabadell are celebrating on the banks of the River Danube this evening after adding a fourth Super Cup trophy to their illustrious list of honours. The Spaniards dominated Tuesday’s final at the home of UVSE in Budapest and eased to a comfortable 14-11 victory. The Hungarians fought hard, but after falling 5-3 behind by the end of the first quarter, they were always chasing the game and never really looked like causing the upset the majority of supporters on Margaret Island were hoping to see.
Sabadell opened the final in style, netting their first six on five after just 25 seconds and going 2-0 up shortly after, but then the Hungarians managed to create some great opportunities of their own. Working the ball well, they forced back-to-back penalties, fired in both, and the scores were level at 2-2.
Maartje Keuning rushed to help her team with a fine shot, and soon came another finely played woman-up for Sabadell to regain a two-goal advantage. Panna Tiba’s shot from distance was sensational for 4-3 and UVSE had another six on five chance to equalise again, but missed and Judith Forca’s stunning left-hander just beat the buzzer to give Sabadell a 5-3 lead.
It was painful for the Magyars as their rivals opened the second quarter with a great action goal to make it 6-3. UVSE needed some luck to keep up with the favourites and made it 6-4 before Sabadell struck again to make it 7-4. Laura Ester then pulled the ball towards her own goal and Zoe Lendvay appeared from nowhere to make it 7-5 and get the crowd on their feet again.
The Magyars kept finding the net, but so did Sabadell, meaning the gap remained at two (9-7) at the end of the second quarter. Maica Garcia then hit one from action two minutes into the third to extend the lead to three (10-7) and the Spaniards started to pull away.
UVSE missed a six on five after a time-out and seconds later Paula Leiton’s first-time shot extended the gap to four as Sabadell put one hand firmly on the trophy.
Kata Hajdu’s bouncing ball found its way to the goal, then a block denied Sabadell’s next extra – and an ill-timed block deflected another shot into the Spaniards’ net for 11-9.
Still, Sabadell didn’t panic and earned another six on five with Forca netting to reset the gap to 12-9 at the end of the third.
Just like a few days ago in another Hungarian pool, against Dunaujvaros in the Champions League, Sabadell held a three-goal lead before the fourth period. There they almost blew it as they couldn’t score in the last period and won by a single goal. Here, it was a different story – UVSE couldn’t beat the Spanish defence in the first six on five, while Leiton sent the ball home from a six on four for 13-9.
The next few minutes were spent battling, but this was more than fine for the Spaniards as the clock ticked down. With 3:38 to go, a nicely played extra put UVSE one closer, and Zoe Lendvay’s goal, again on extra, made it 13-11 with 1:35 remaining, but it was too little, too late.
Forca’s smart lob closed the contest down, 1:09 from time, which was a nice way for the Spaniards to secure their fourth Super Cup trophy, which is a new record.
David Palma, coach, Sabadell
“We were expecting a game like this, and we were ready for this tough physical battle UVSE tried to force. They have a very talented young team who fought hard and pushed us to our limits, but we also did really well, and always found the way to score when we really needed to.”
Marton Benczur, coach, UVSE
“The difference is real, this is the gap we have between the two teams. I’m slightly disappointed as I know we could play better than this, but this also depends on Sabadell’s performance – and they made less mistakes, for sure, so they fully deserve this victory. Still, we are happy as we had the stands full, our fans created a great atmosphere, and this is something the girls will never forget.”
Panna Tiba, player, UVSE
“I think we can be happy to score 11 goals against Sabadell, which is a fantastic team. Sadly, I think our positioning in defence wasn’t that great in the first and third period – the blocks weren’t there where they were supposed to be. Still, this was a great experience for us and we can learn a lot from matches like this.”