Two teams on the edge; excitement in Tirol
HC Lokomotiva Zagreb, CS Madeira, Mecalia Atletico Guardes, ZRK Bjelovar.
This is the list of the teams already in the quarter-finals of the Women’s Challenge Cup after winning their Last 16 double headers last weekend.
In the quarter-finals, these four teams will join Spanish side Aula Alimentos de Valladolid, who will be entering the competition at that stage.
This leaves only three quarter-final tickers at stake this weekend.
Two teams on the brink of quarter-final tickets
In two of the remaining Last 16 ties, the return matches look a little like formalities, due to the huge wins for one side in the first leg.
This applies to the match in Granollers, Spain, where KH-7 BM. Granollers are defending a lead of 32:19 when they host DCH Sokol Poruba from the Czech Republic on Sunday at noon.
With the current score line, it is hard to see how Granollers will not be the second Spanish team in the quarter-finals, along with Mecalia Atletico Guardes.
ZRK Naisa Nis appear to be even closer to the next round than Granollers.
When the Serbian side, who won the competition once before, in 2007, host HIB Handball Graz on Saturday evening, they will begin already 16 goals ahead, having won their away game 30:14.
The Austrian visitors seem to need more than a miracle to turn the tides here.
Still open in Brixen
Things will be considerably more open when SSV Brixen Südtirol and JuRo Unirek VZV enter the court in the Sporthalle Sportzone Süd in Brixen, Italy.
The Dutch visitors are defending a five-goal lead after winning the first leg at home 29:24 – a score that leaves the Italian home team with a good chance to catch up and reach the quarter-final in their first season ever in European cup handball.
JuRo Unirek will not be without support in their attempt to defend their lead and clinch their first European quarter-final berth in history, though. They will be spurred on by 73 fans who will take the trip to Italy to back their team.Author: Peter Bruun / cg