Turda return to Challenge Cup Final
A.E.K. Athens qualified for their first European Cup final after a 23:23 draw at home against AM Madeira Andebol SAD was more than enough to go through with their eight-goal away win in the first leg.
In the final, the Greek team will meet AHC Potaissa Turda, who are in the final for the second year in succession after turning a 31:28 away defeat around against IBV Vestmannaeyjar with a 28:24 win at home.
There will be no draw of the home right in the final as Turda hosted the second leg last year and according the regulations they have to play the first final leg at home now..
Draw sees Athens through
A 23:23 draw in the return match on home court against AM Madeira Andebol SAD was more than enough for A.E.K. Athens to reach their first European final in history.
The Greek side had won their away game 29:21 and their final berth was never in danger in the second leg in Maroussi in the suburbs of Athens.
In fact, A.E.K. were just as dominant at the beginning of the return match, as they were on Madeira last Saturday, leading 3:0 and had several three-goal leads during the first half.
Madeira managed to reduce the distance to 13:12 at half-time and after a couple of further three-goal leads for Athens early in the second half, the Portuguese team even took a one-goal lead.
However, the visitors were never close to catching up with the eight-goal deficit from the first match and A.E.K. celebrate their historic final berth.
Turda in second final in succession
AHC Potaissa Turda are ready for their second Challenge Cup final in succession, where they will hope for more success than last year, when they lost clearly to Portuguese side Sporting CP.
However, Turda had to go some drama against IBV Vestmannaeyjar before securing their passage through.
Having lost the first leg in Iceland 31:28, Turda needed a strong start to set the tone and turn the tie around.
The home team began by taking a 5:1 lead, but the visitors managed to hang in and for the rest of the first half, the distance was never beyond three goals.
After the first half ended 13:11 for Turda, Vestmannaeyjar even took the lead at 15:14 early in the second period, before holding 18:16 and 19:17 advantaged, but through a strong finish, Turda managed to win 28:24, which was enough for a one-goal aggregate win.Author: Peter Bruun / cor