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24.03.2018, 23:20◄ last page     


DAY REVIEW: Füchse Berlin, Saint-Raphael Var and Göppingen advanced from the group phase, while hosts Magdeburg got direct entry to the EHF Cup Finals without playing on Saturday
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Three teams book Men’s EHF Cup Quarter-final tickets

Even a day before their own match (against SKA Minsk), SC Magdeburg have been guaranteed of the top spot in Men’s EHF Cup Group A on Saturday. That means the German hosts will advance to the Ottostadt Magdeburg EHF Cup Finals 2018 directly.

It also means that only three quarter-finals will be played, and that the worst second-ranked team in the group phase will not advance.

Magdeburg’s only rival for the No. 1 position in the group, Bjerringbro-Silkeborg, lost 32:28 away at TATRAN Presov.

Also, Füchse Berlin clearly defeated Group B leaders Saint-Raphael Var Handball (34:25), which sent both teams through to the quarter-finals. Unbeaten Group C leaders Frisch Auf Göppingen are also through.

  • Hosts Magdeburg skip the quarter-finals and advance to the EHF Cup Finals direcly

  • Saint-Raphael Var Handball suffer heavy home defeat against Füchse but still qualify

  • Cocks beat Koper and finally earned their first ever EHF Cup Group Phase points

GROUP A:

TATRAN Presov (SVK) vs Bjerringbro-Silkeborg (DEN) 32:28 (13:16)

TATRAN Presov claimed their first win in the group phase this season. Their win also handed EHF Cup Finals hosts SC Magdeburg the group win and a direct passage to the 19-20 May finals tournament.

Bjerringbro-Silkeborg still have a theoretical chance to reach the quarter-finals. They must beat Magdeburg next week and hope that six points will bne enough to be among the best three second-ranked teams.

Presov could no longer proceed, but that did not stop the Slovakian home team from fighting for their first win.

After a high-scoring opening phase, Bjerringbro-Silkeborg were the first team to get the defence working, enabling them to take a three-goal lead at the break.

But in the second half, Presov´s back court line became a tough challenge for the Danish defence, and it only took the home team nine minutes to level at 19:19. Also, Presov keeper Igor Chupryna stepped up, and saved two penalty shots among numerous other crucial saves.

Presov led again (21:20) after 41 minutes and ultimately increased that lead to four goals with five minutes left.

GROUP B

Lugi HF (SWE) vs Helvetia Anaitasuna (ESP) 31:33 (17:15)

Neither team could make it to the quarter-finals anymore, but the win means that Anaitasuna have at least avoided to finish last in the group. Lugi are now the only team in the group phase without a point.

Lugi seemed to be heading for a win as they were still 21:16 up early in the second half, but could not hold on to it, as had been the case in several other of the Swedish team’s matches this season.

Saint-Raphael Var Handball (FRA) vs Füchse Berlin (GER) 25:34 (12:17)

Füchse made sure to reach the quarter-final with a clear win in France. And despite the defeat, Saint-Raphael have also qualified for the quarter-final as their current total of eight points will always be enough to be among the three best second-ranked teams.

For the same reason, Frisch Auf Göppingen, who are leading Group C with eight points and will play on Monday, have also been guaranteed of the quarter-finals.

Saint-Raphael were leading 4:2 and had a series of one-goal leads later on, but in the last 10 minutes of the first half, Füchse started to dominate and went from 11:11 to 16:11 and 17:12 at half-time.

In the second half, Füchse stayed in complete control and extended their lead to nine at the end.

GROUP C

RD Koper (SLO) vs Cocks (FIN) 23:25 (10:13)

The quarter-final chance had vanished for both teams already before the match, but Cocks still had something to celebrate: their first ever points in the EHF Cup Group Phase.

They lost all six group matches last season and also failed to take a point in the first four matches of their current campaign.

Apart from 3:2 and 4:3 for Koper early in the match, Cocks were leading all the way, sometimes even by four goals.

GROUP D

Wacker Thun (SUI) vs KS Azoty-Pulawy SA (POL) 26:34 (11:14)

Pulawy kept their theoretical quarter-final chance alive - at least until Sunday - as they defeated the other EHF Cup Group Phase debutants for the second time in the competition.

Pulawy were leading by four goals most of the first half, and increased the difference to eight before the final buzzer.

While Thun are out of the race, Pulawy must now wait for the results of the remaining matches on Sunday and Monday, which will decide whether the Polish side could qualify for the quarter-finals with a win against Fraikin BM. Granolers in their last group match.


TEXT: Peter Bruun / ew

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