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8 months ago - 4/13/2018

Ardesen and Rocasa hope to benefit from advantage

On Sunday, Turkish side Ardesen GSK and Spain’s Rocasa Gran Canaria will aim to benefit from the advantage achieved in the first leg of the semi-finals in the Women´s Challenge Cup.

The advantages are of different kinds. While Ardesen will defend a five-goal lead when they visit their Polish opponents MKS Perla Lublin, Rocasa will host reigning champions HC Lokomotiva Zagreb after a 26:26 draw in Croatia in the first leg.

Fans can watch livestreams of both matches:
- Rocasa Gran Canaria vs Lokomotiva Zagreb, Sunday at 14:00 hrs, live on ehfTV.com;
- MKS Perla Lublin vs Ardesen GSK, Sunday at 18:00 hrs, live on ehfTV.com

“Only 51 per cent advantage”

Having won 28:23 at home in the first match against MKS Perla Lublin, Ardesen GSK seem to have a great chance to qualify for the first European cup final in the Turkish club’s history. However, Lublin coach Robert Lis sees plenty of room for improvement in his own team before the return match.

“In my opinion, Ardesen only have 51 per cent chance to get through,” says the coach, who does not hesitate to call his team’s performance in Turkey last weekend the worst since he joined the club in the summer of 2017.

“Five goals are many, but not too many, and we are simply just stronger than Ardesen. The only thing we have to do is prove it on Sunday in the Globus Hall,” adds Lis.

Ardesen coach Ali Ihsan Tekin is aware that a five-goal lead may not be enough.

“We were happy winning by five goals in the first match, but we know that we have to make another good effort and go for another win in order to reach the final, which I very much hope for,” Ali Ihsan Tekin tells eurohandball.com.

First-leg draw means advantage for Rocasa

A 26:26 draw in the first match in the Croatian capital has given 2016 champions Rocasa Gran Canaria a certain edge before the home game against ruling Challenge Cup title holders HC Lokomotiva Zagreb. The Spanish side could have brought themselves into an even better position, as they were leading the first game by two goals until one minute before the final buzzer.

Still, head coach, Yubal Moreno is content with the situation:

“We played a good match in Zagreb, and we hope to play the same way at home and reach the final. I am in no doubt that it will be an intense and good match between the Challenge Cup winners from the last two years,” Yubal Moreno tells eurohandball.com.

Moreno’s adversary Nenad Sostaric, head coach of Lokomotiva as well as of the Croatia women’s national team acknowledges Rocasa’s advantage.

“After the draw in the first game, Rocasa are in the better position, as they have the home advantage now. Nevertheless, we are certainly not travelling 4,000 kilometers one way just to give up beforehand!

“During the week, we have looked at our mistakes and worked on them, and in my opinion, we will be able to provide a top-level performance,” says Sostaric ahead of the return match.

Author: Peter Bruun / cg