Midtjylland to take last step
Having a ten-goal lead with them from the first leg away against MKS Selgros Lublin, FC Midtjylland are obviously the largest favourites to proceed to the semi-finals, before the quarter-finals of the Women's Cup Winners' Cup are being decided this weekend.
FC Midtjylland, who finished second in the Danish league this season, won the first leg as big as 35:25 in Poland, and this makes the return match in Ikast Brande Arena at noon Sunday look like a formality, but head coach Helle Thomsen still finds it necessary to issue a word of warning.
“It is all about finishing the job at home, and that is not going to be an easy game. However, it goes without saying, that being ten goals up, we are favourites to proceed,” says Helle Thomsen.
FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria are also close to the semi-final, being nine goals ahead after the first leg against HSG Blomberg-Lippe. FTC won the first match at home 34:25, and there is no doubt that Blomberg-Lippe will need to succeed with just about everything they do in the home game Sunday afternoon, if they are going to turn the table and reach the semi-final after all.
Hypo Niederösterreich may only be leading by one goal ahead of the second leg against Byasen Trondheim, but the Austrian team has the advantage of playing at home after winning 24:23 in Norway last weekend.
This week, Byasen could announce a four-year contract with Norwegian international Ida Alstad who is joining from FC Midtjylland this summer, but even if she was not injured at the moment, she would not be able to help her future teammates in the difficult game in Vienna Saturday evening. Byasen can still rely on the firepower of the competition's top scorer Maren Gundersen (45 goals).
The last semi-final berth is going to be decided in a double-header in France, where Zvezda Zvenigorod are visiting Fleury Loiret Handball for two matches on Friday night and Sunday evening.Author: Peter Bruun / br