Szczecin through to Challenge Cup semi-final; Quintus close
Quarter-final action in the Women’s Challenge Cup began on Saturday and Sunday. There were first leg matches played between Rincon Fertilidad Malaga and H.V. Quintus, and Rocasa Gran Canaria and HC Gomel, while SPR Pogon Szczecin faced Boden Handboll IF in a double-header in Sweden to decide a semi-final place.
SPR Pogon Szczecin safely through
As the first team to qualify, SPR Pogon Szczecin are ready for the semi-final of the Women´s Challenge Cup.
Despite playing both matches away, the Polish team managed to win the double-header played this weekend against Boden Handboll IF by six goals on aggregate.
SPR Pogon Szczecin’s six-goal advantage was built in the first leg in the Boden Arena on Saturday.
After a narrow 14:13 lead at half-time, Pogon won the second half by five goals and increased the distance to a 28:22 win.
In the return match at the same venue on Sunday, the Polish visitors again started strongly in the first half, but Boden managed to respond and levelled the score by half-time (13:13).
Boden also managed to keep the second half level and claimed a 27:27 draw, which was not enough to rescue their qualification hopes. Over the two legs, SPR Pogon Szczecin won the tie 55:49 on aggregate.
Sweden may still hope to get a team in the semi-final, though, as Kristianstad Handboll will play Serbian side ZRK Naisa Nis in a quarter-final double-header next weekend.
13 goals from Lopez not enough for Malaga
13 goals from left wing Soledad Lopez were not enough for Rincon Fertilidad Malaga on Saturday, when the Spanish team played at home against Dutch team H.V. Quintus in the first leg.
After Malaga had been leading 16:14 at half-time, Quintus turned the tables in the second half and put themselves in a great position ahead of the second leg, winning 29:26.
If Quintus can finish the job at home next weekend, they can look forward to playing their semi-final tie against SPR Pogon Szczecin.
Rocasa Gran Canaria in control
Even if Malaga do not advance, Spain still have a good chance to be represented in the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup.
Rocasa Gran Canaria, who won the competition in 2016 and reached the final last season, are six goals up after their home game against HC Gomel.
After a relatively modest 12:10 lead at half-time, Rocasa tightened the grip in the second half and won the match 24:18.
This result obviously gives them a good chance in the second leg in Belarus next Saturday.
Photo credit: SPR Pogon Szczecin TwitterAuthor: Peter Bruun / jw