17.11.2017, 09:00◄ last page     

ROUND PREVIEW: The 16 participants in the Women´s EHF Cup group phase are going to be found this weekend, as the second leg of the last qualification round is taking place.

Crunch time in the women's qualifiers

On Sunday night, all 16 teams for the group phase of the Women's EHF Cup will be known. The second leg of Qualification Round 3 is taking place this weekend, and based on the results in the first matches last weekend, several exciting encounters are to be expected.

TusSies Metzingen, who reached the final of the competition in the 2015/16 season, seem to have a good chance to book a ticket for the group phase this time.

The German side got a 24:24 draw away against Swedish champions H 65 Höörs HK in their first match, and even though the Bundesliga players were not content with their performance, they realise that their position is good.

“Even though we made the first match unnecessarily exciting, we managed to maintain a really good chance. In the second match, we are going to show our true fact and qualify for the group phase,” as right back Maren Weigel put it.

DKKA Dunaujvaros KA was the team who defeated Metzingen in that EHF Cup final 18 months ago. Just like Metzingen, the Hungarian side have a good chance to reach the group phase.

Dunaujvaros are only chasing a narrow 22:21 deficit when receiving current number one in the Danish league Kobenhavn Haandbold for the return match on Saturday evening. Kobenhavn's coach admits that his team is under pressure.

“We need to be smarter in the return match, than we were in the first leg. “I think we provided a fine effort in the defence, but their tempo players got the better of us in between.

“Anyway, it is going to be cool to go down there and play in that awesome atmosphere,” says head coach Claus Mogensen.

Another Hungarian team is even closer to the group phase than Dunaujvaros, however.

Érd HC are travelling to Paris this weekend with nothing less than a 10 goal-lead after winning 31:21 at home against Issy Paris Hand on Sunday.

If the French side is going to stand a chance to catch up with that deficit on home ground Saturday night, they should probably keep an extra eye on Erd's Serbian right wing Katarina Slezak who scored 10 goals in the first match.

In fact, France is in great danger of being represented in the group phase only by Brest Bretagne Handball - the bottom ranked team from the Women's EHF Champions League Group B.

The country's only other team in Round 3, ES Besancon Feminin will have to catch up with an eight-goal deficit against Handball Club Lada in the Palais des Sports Besancon Saturday night in order to proceed in the tournament (live on ehfTV)

Supported by 2,700 spectators, the Russian team won 30:22 at home last Saturday and obviously have an edge ahead of the return game.

Even if Lada should not qualify, Russia is sure to have at least one team in the group phase, as Kuban and Astrakhanochka are meeting in an all Russian encounter.

Astrakhanochka are leading 29:27 before visiting Krasnodar for the return match Saturday evening.

If everything turns out the right way for Russian handball, the nation may even have three teams among the 16 teams in the group phase, as Zvezda Zvenigorod are bringing a 31:28 lead with them to the Czech Republic for their second meeting with DHK Banik Most.

Find the overview of all matches here

TEXT: Peter Bruun / br

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