ROUND REVIEW: The first leg of qualification round 3 in the Women's EHF Cup painted a promising picture for the Romanian teams in the tournament
Romanian sides comfortable as Hungary's clubs struggle
Norway does not seem to be a lucky country for HC Gomel to visit. Back in September, the Belarusian champions failed to qualify for the Women's EHF Champions League in the qualifiers in Kristiansand.
This Sunday, they lost the first leg 32:28 in Trondheim against Byasen Handball Elite. Gomel had particular problems with two Byasen players, as Teodora Tomac and Kristian Venn scored nine goals each for the home team.
Belarus's other representative in the tournament, BNTU-BelAZ Minsk, is also in danger of being sent out of the competition before the group phase.
The support from 1,000 spectators at the Sport Palace Uruchje in Minsk only gave the team a 23:22 win against Danish Cup winners Randers HK, and this narrow lead may be hard to defend in Randers next Sunday.
Minsk had the chance to take a larger lead with them to Denmark, as they were leading by four goals several times, but at the final buzzer, the difference was down to one goal.
“I think we are in a good position after a hectic match, and I expect us to be able to win at home,” Randers right wing Gitte Andersen told the local newspaper Randers Amtsavis.
Viborg take control
Another Danish team, Viborg HK, are virtually in the group phase already.
The Women's EHF Champions League winners from 2006, 2009 and 2010 secured a 32:17 win at home against Croatian champions HC Podravka Vegeta and should be able to clinch the group phase berth in Koprivnica on the coming Saturday.
“I think we succeeded in putting pressure on them in our defence as well as in our attack. We took control of the match very fast and continued to extend our lead. That impressed me much,” said Viborg coach Allan Heine.
Romanian teams shine
The weekend was good for women's handball in Romania. Apart from CSM Bucuresti securing the first place in their Champions League group, both Romanian teams in the EHF Cup earned clear wins.
HC Zalau are closest to the group phase after winning 30:22 away against Hypo Niederösterreich, and SCM Craiova are also in a good position after their 24:19 home win against DVSC-TVP from Debrecen.
Debrecen are not the only Hungarian team who will have trouble reaching the next round.
Vaci NKSE lost the first leg 26:24 at home against Turkish side Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK. Things look better for DKKA Dunaujvaros who only lost 22:21 away against Kobenhavn Haandbold.
Hungary's fourth representative in this round had a better day. ÉRD HC won 31:21 at home against Issy Paris Hand and seem to be heading for the group phase.
The Russian tie between Astrakhanochka and Kuba is still pretty open, but with a bit of an edge to Kuban, after Astrakhanochka won the first match narrowly 29:27 in front of 2,500 home fans. Kuban still have a chance of making up this modest deficit in Krasnodar next Sunday.
TEXT: Peter Bruun/jh
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