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08.09.2016, 20:30◄ last page     


ROUND 1 PREVIEW: Nine return matches and one double-header in Qualification Round 1 of the Men's EHF Cup this weekend.
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10 more teams for Round 2 to be found this weekend

When the last ball has been thrown in Qualification Round 1 on Sunday evening, 10 more teams will be ready to supplement the five who already qualified last weekend in Round 2 along with the teams who will enter the tournament in the second round.

Nine ties will find their decision in the second leg this weekend after the first matches were played last weekend, while one tie is being played as a double-header this Saturday and Sunday.

Croatian HC Zamet pulled a surprise last weekend by winning 32:29 in France against US Creteil Handball.

Saturday night, in the Centar Zamet in Rijeka, the Croatian side will be trying to harvest the fruits of their fine effort away and proceed to the next round, while Creteil may have a bit of a mountain to climb in order to reach the same goal.

OCI-LIONS have an even steeper mountain to climb, if they want to preserve their hope of copying last year's achievement and reach the group phase.

After their 28:17 defeat away against Alpla HC Hard, even the second qualification round looks far away for the Dutch champions before the home game in Sittard Saturday night.

Alpla Hard also feel pretty confident to proceed in the tournament.

“With this result, advancing to the next round should be no problem,” Petr Hrachovec, head coach of the Austrian team said.

The other Dutch representative in the competition, HV KRAS/Volendam do not seem to have particularly good chances to do better than the LIONS.

Before receiving Chambery Savoie Handball in the Sporthal Oppendam Saturday evening, Volendam find themselves eight goals down after losing 31:23 in France last weekend.

Chambery, who reached the Finals last season, seem to be well on their way to the next round of this season's edition of the tournament.

Things look more equal in Prague Sunday evening, when Kosovan champions KH BESA Famiglia are visiting HC Dukla Praha. KH BESA Famiglia are leading 35:31 after the home match, and the question is, of course, if this will be enough in the Czech capital.

Dukla will probably increase their chances to proceed in the tournament, if they can contain the visitors' Bosnian left back Ante Kukrika who scored 10 times in the first meeting between the two teams.

There is only one British player, but six other nationalities in the team roster of London GD HC who are involved in the only double header this weekend.

The English champions are still chasing their first European win against an opponent outside the British Isles, when the go to Israel to meet Maccabi Srugo Rishon Lezion Friday afternoon and Saturday evening.


TEXT: Peter Bruun / br

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