Gran Canaria not feeling safe yet
With a 30:23 win away against SPR Pogon Szczecin, one would think that Rocasa Gran Canaria would be well on their way to secure the Women´s Challenge Cup trophy for the second time in history.
However, their head coach is far from felling safe and secure before the second leg of the final on home ground.
FINAL, SECOND LEG
Rocasa Gran Canaria (ESP) vs SPR Pogon Szczecin (POL)
Sunday 12 May, 13:00 CET, live on ehfTV.com
Result first leg: 30:23
Backed by a seven-goal lead from the first leg in Poland last week, Rocasa Gran Canaria seem close to bagging their second Women’s Challenge Cup title.
The Spanish club won the competition in 2016 and reached the final again last year, when they were beaten by MKS Perla Lublin.
In this season’s final Rocasa are facing another team from Poland, SPR Pogon Szczecin, but head coach Carlos Herrera doesn’t take anything for granted yet after the 30:23 win in the first leg.
“It is true that we made a good game away and that we achieved a good result, but we will also have to do well at home,” the coach says. “We will still have to work hard, and who ever might think that we are already champions is making a big mistake. We are aware that we still have a difficult match ahead of us, but I hope that the intensity in our defence will make the difference”
Szczecin hoping to play without pressure
Herrera’s counterpart, Neven Hrupec, is realistic going into the second leg on Sunday.
“If we can still take the trophy being seven goals down is a very difficult question. We did not play well in the first match, but we should at least try to win the second match,” the Szczecin coach says. “In the first match there was a big pressure on our young team. I hope we can play without pressure this time, and that we can play much better.”
To Hrupec, Gran Canaria are the clear favourites now.
“But miracles sometimes happen, and we are definitely not going to wave the white flag,” he says.
Szczecin didn’t have a confidence-boosting match in the domestic league this week as they lost 28:24 at Zaglebie Lubin in the play-off for the Polish championship on Wednesday.