Starting the hunt for Gran Canaria’s throne
When the Women’s Challenge Cup launches this weekend, it will be the last edition of the competition. From next season, it will be succeeded by the Women’s EHF Cup.
In this last edition of the Women’s Challenge Cup, a new champion will have to be found. Rocasa Gran Canaria, who won the competition in 2018/19, cannot defend their title as, this season, the Spanish team are playing the EHF Cup instead.
The action this weekend starts with two matches on Friday, both of which are double headers.
Friday action in Serbia and Croatia
In Zajecar, Serbia, RK Zajecar 1949 are hosting Macedonian side ZRK Pelister 2012.
Zajecar have fine memories from previous European cup campaigns, having been in the qualifiers for the Women’s EHF Champions League three times in the past, among other achievements.
Pelister are playing their third Challenge Cup – and their third season in Europe. A Last 16 berth in the 2018/19 season stands out as their best achievement so far.
After the first leg on Friday evening, the return match will take place in the same venue on Saturday afternoon.
Alavarium / Love Tiles reached the competition’s Last 16 in the past two seasons, and the Portuguese side will be chasing a repeat when they visit Croatia on Friday and Saturday.
Their opponents will be ZRK Bjelovar, who are playing their second consecutive – and successive – European cup season.
In their maiden season last year, Bjelovar reached round 3 of the Challenge Cup and will obviously be trying to do even better this season.
Italian derby in Tirol
This round also contains a national derby.
In the Sporthalle Sportzone Süd in Brixen, the two Italian teams SSV Brixen Südtirol and Ariosto Pallamano Ferrara will meet for the first leg of their internal clash on Saturday.
While Südtirol are debutants in Europe, Ferrara are playing the Challenge Cup for the fifth time, with three round 3 berths being their finest achievement this far.Author: Peter Bruun / cg