Hosts Kiel and defending champions Berlin avoid each other in AKQUINET EHF Cup Finals draw
The seventh edition of the MEN’S EHF Cup Finals on 17/18 May will see the semi-final encounters between three-time EHF Cup champions THW Kiel and Danish side TTH Holstebro. In the second semi-final, defending champions Füchse Berlin will meet debutants FC Porto Sofarma, the first Portuguese team to compete in the event.
Henrik La Cour, EHF Vice President Finance, and Ralf Hegedüus, Head of the Sports Department of the City of Kiel, conducted the draw at the Atlantics Hotel in Kiel.
AKQUINET EHF Cup Finals 2019
Semi-final 1: TTH Holstebro – THW Kiel
Semi-final 2: Füchse Berlin – FC Porto Sofarma
The throw-off times have been confirmed with matches being played at 18:00 and 20:45 CET on both days. The order of the semi-finals will be confirmed in due time after consultations with the TV partners.
Hosts THW Kiel and TTH Holstebro have never previously met in European competitions. Even though they won the EHF Cup three times, this is THW Kiel’s first time in the EHF Cup Finals. TTH Holstebro, on the other hand, participated in the very first final tournament in Nantes 2013, claiming third place.
Before the draw, THW Kiel’s coach Alfred Gislason wished to play against TTH Holstebro in the semi-final and his wish came true.
“I am very satisfied and we are looking forward to playing Holstebro. They have improved significantly over the last few years. We have to have a good day to win against them,” said Gislason, who is leaving the club at the end of the season.
TTH Holstebro had different wishes for the semi-final, but are hoping they can stun the home team at Sparkassen-Arena.
“We were hoping to meet Kiel in the final. We need to be at our best and we hope we can surprise. We expect around 200 fans and hope they will be here to help the team,” said Line Kristoffersen, TTH Holstebro media manager.
The second semi-final will see defending champions Füchse Berlin taking on Portuguese club FC Porto Sofarma.
It has been a long journey for Porto this season as they started their EHF Cup campaign in Qualification Round 1. They will have a tough task against Berlin, who have won the EHF Cup twice already (2015, 2018) and will make an appearance at the final tournament for the third consecutive year.
The German side has a better head-to-head record as they won all four previous encounters. Porto have experience of playing German teams this season as they already ousted last year’s finals host SC Magdeburg and hope to do the same against Füchse.
“We are very happy with our achievement and want to continue in the same way. Füchse are a very good opponent. We wanted to play against another German team in the semi-final as we already beat Magdeburg in Qualification Round 3,” said Armando Leitao, Director of FC Porto’s handball team.
Stefan Güter, media manager of Füchse Berlin praised their semi-final opponents: “FC Porto have played a very strong season. They eliminated Magdeburg and won the group. Then they eliminated last year’s finalists Saint-Raphael Var Handball.
“We will need to play really well to win against them. We did not have an easy season so far because we had a lot of injuries and some unlucky matches during the season. We need two good matches and this season will be a very good one in the end."
New trophy revealed
During the AKQUINET EHF Cup Finals draw, the coveted winners’ trophy was made public. Just moments before the semi-final pairings of the final tournament had been determined, EHF Vice President Finance Henrik La Cour and three-time EHF Cup winner and former Kiel player Klaus-Dieter Petersen unveiled the brand new trophy.
The trophy was produced by Austrian company ‘Kerschbaumer trophies & more’ in cooperation with the Austrian craft business and has been designed by EHF Marketing.
Media representatives can still apply for the accreditation for the event in Kiel.
Written and online media, photographers, TV and radio representatives can submit their request for accreditation via online form: http://accreditation.ehf.eu/.
Deadline for submitting the accreditation request is 3 May 2019.