Turda expect ‘David and Goliath’ against Sporting
While Sporting CP have won all their matches on the way to the Challenge Cup Final, the road has been somewhat bumpier for their opponents, AHC Potaissa Turda.
Still, Sporting’s coach Hugo Canela expects a difficult final series, while his adversary predicts a fight between David and Goliath ahead of the first leg in Portugal.
Good news for all fans, no matter their club allegiance, is that both matches will be streamed live on ehfTV.com.
FINAL, FIRST LEG
Sporting CP (POR) vs AHC Potaissa Turda (ROU)
Sunday 21 May, 17:00 local time, live on ehfTV.com
Looking at the team rosters and their respective roads to the final, Sporting appear to be the favourites to win the Challenge Cup.
The Portuguese side have won all their matches in the tournament this season, while Turda, who are playing in the European cup for the first time in their history, have had a rockier journey to the final matches.
This was clearly illustrated as late as the semi-final stage, where the Romania team lost by eight goals against Valur in Iceland, but managed to clinch their final berth by way of a nine-goal win at home.
Still, Sporting coach Hugo Canela is cautious ahead of the final.
“The two final games will be hugely difficult, especially with the second leg being played in Romania.
“I have had the opportunity to watch Potaissa Turda play, and their defensive aggressiveness is one of their strong characteristics. They also have really good extremes and a goalkeeper who helps them a lot,” says Canela.
Proud to have come this far
Potaissa Turda coach Horatiu Gal is proud that his team have made it as far as the final on their maiden voyage in Europe.
“Qualifying for the final of the Challenge Cup in our very first participation is a very good achievement.
“We are realistic enough to know that our game against Sporting will be like David against Goliath, but we feel fine as outsiders.
“After all, a final can always offer the possibility of a surprise,” Gal tells eurohandball.com.
“We will give our best to come as close as possible to the level at which Sporting is able to perform. In the final, we will forget that we have injured players who cannot play or players who will play with injuries.
“Everybody in our team must act with a united spirit and play the chance we have,” concludes the Turda coach.