Second half of quarter-finalists to be found
Rincon Fertilidad Malaga, SPR Pogon Szczecin, Boden IF Handball and HC Gomel all qualified for the quarter-finals of the Women’s Challenge Cup after winning their double-headers when the Last 16 launched last weekend. This weekend, the second half of the quarter-final participants are to be found; two of them through double-headers.
Sport Hall “Cair” in Nis, Serbia will host two meetings between Macedonian side ZRK Pelister 2012 and the home team ZRK Naisa Nis. Pelister will have their technical home game on Saturday evening, before it is Naisa’s turn with the home right 24 hours later.
The other double-header this weekend will be played in Vise, Belgium, where Femina Vise are welcoming Kristianstad Handboll. Kristianstad will be aiming to double the Swedish representation in the quarter-finals, for which Boden IF are already qualified.
While Vise have a long tradition in European cup handball, Kristianstad made their international debut last season, reaching the quarter-final of the Challenge Cup. The team from southern Sweden will be keen to replicate this achievement when visiting Belgium for the two games on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
Kristianstad travel to Belgium with a fresh defeat in their luggage, however. On Wednesday evening, they lost narrowly 22:21 away to Västerås.
Gran Canaria and Quintus close to last eight
The remaining two quarter-finalists are going to be found in the second legs of ties started last weekend. 2016 winners Rocasa Gran Canaria have a very strong chance of joining the other Spanish team, Rincon Malaga, in the quarter-finals.
Rocasa lead 33:23 ahead of their visit to Turkey for the second leg against Ankara Yenimahalle BSK on Sunday afternoon. There is no doubt that the Turkish team will need all the support they can get from the home crowd to erase this 10-goal deficit.
Another team very close to the last eight are H.V. Quintus, who are in front 27:22 after their away game in the all-Dutch derby against Geonius V&L. This result makes Quintus, who are currently second in the Dutch Eredivise, favourites at home in Eekhout Hall in Kwintsheul, where sixth placed V&L will be visiting on Saturday night.Author: Peter Bruun / cg