Title holders Siófok start with victory; no winner in Danish derby
Among 12 first leg matches in the Women’s EHF Cup qualification round 3, there were four national derbies – and all of them were anticipated with huge interest.
The Danish clash between Nykøbing Falster Håndbold Handbold and Herning-Ikast Handbold was the only draw of the weekend. The score was 13:13 at the break and 23:23 at full time, and notably Herning-Ikast’s left back Helene Fauske scored almost half of her team’s goals (11).
In Bistrita, two Romanian teams also played a close match. CS Gloria 2018 Bistrita-Nasaud led 15:13 at half-time, yet CSM Corona Brasov turned the game around to win 27:25 and now look like favourites heading into the second leg at home.
Tertnes Bergen won the Norwegian derby more assuredly, beating Storhamar Handball Elite at home by a five-goal margin, 31:26. With nine goals each, Katarina Berens and Linn Gosse were Bergen’s driving forces, and now their team hope to finish the job next Sunday.
Russia’s Handball Club Lada took a huge step towards the group phase, as they beat HC Zvezda away from home, 36:24. Following a modest 16:14 lead at the break, Lada accelerated in the second half and claimed a 12-goal victory.
Three Hungarian teams claim victories
Of Hungary’s four teams in round 3, three of them celebrated victories at the weekend. Siófok KC Hungary opened their title defence with a clear win in France against Nantes Atlantique Handball (32:24), so the 2018/19 Women's EHF Cup winners should progress to the group phase.
DVSC Schaeffler can be all but certain of progressing to the group phase following their clear win against ZORK Jagodina (37:26). A good attacking performance was also the key for ERD HC's 39:32 win in the home game against Kuban. However, the Russian side are renowned for their high quality, so ERD should not relax before the return encounter in Krasnodar.
Although Csenge Kuczora top-scored for Vaci NKSE with eight goals, Kastamonou Belediyesi GSK won their first leg encounter 33:26. Vaci NKSE were the only Hungarian side to lose in the first leg and now face a difficult task at home next Saturday.
Kobenhavn more secure than Odense
While Nykobing and Herning-Ikast were drawn to face each other, two other Danish sides have to play against French rivals in round 3.
Both first leg games that took place in Denmark were won by the hosts, but while Kobenhavn Handball have one foot in the group phase following a 32:23 win against OGC Nice Cote d Azur Handball, Odense Håndbold will face a true challenge in France after defeating ESBF Besancon by only two goals, 25:23.
In the previous round, Astrakhanochka had eliminated Buxtehuder SV without any problems, but they now have a harder time against Thüringer HC – another German team. A 28:25 home win offers no guarantees for the Russian side, and it even looked like the visitors were happier after the final buzzer.Author: Sergey Nikolaev / jw