13.01.2017, 10:40◄ last page     

ROUND PREVIEW: The second matchday of the Women's EHF Cup will take place on Saturday and Sunday

Group leaders clash in Brest and Metzingen

The Women's EHF Cup is back in action with eight games of the Round 2 - six of them will be played on Saturday and two more on Sunday.

The matchday features two exciting clashes of group leaders - Brest Bretagne Handball vs Kuban in Group B and TuS Metzingen (GER) vs NFH-Nykøbing Falster Håndboldklub in Group D. This games, as well as two others, will be streamed live on ehfTV.

•    The French and Danish teams boast a 100% record after Round 1
•    Teams from Hungary, Norway and Sweden have not earned any points in the group phase yet
•    Bietigheim's Susann Muller is the top scorer of the group phase with 10 goals


Randers HK (DEN) vs VfL Oldenburg (GER)
Saturday 14 January, 14:00 local time

Good defensive performance, resulting in just 21 conceded goals, was one of key factors for Randers in their first Group 1 game against IK Sävehof. The Danish side came back from the neighbouring Sweden with two points.

Yet on Wednesday their morale sank after losing to NFH-Nykøbing Falster Håndboldklub, another Danish participant in the EHF Cup, in the domestic league (25:32).

On the same day, Oldenburg also encountered another club from the EHF Cup in their domestic competition. In the German Cup quarter-final, the team of Leszek Krowicki was narrowly defeated by TuS Metzingen (26:27).

That setback obviously did not boost the team's morale, which was far from perfect after their opening loss against Nantes Loire Atlantique HB in the EHF Cup.

IK Sävehof (SWE) vs Nantes Loire Atlantique HB (FRA)
Saturday 14 January, 16:00 local time

IK Sävehof, who have been relegated from the EHF Champions League in autumn, can not be happy with their start in the EHF Cup. Weakened by injuries and diseases of some players, the Swedish team lacked energy and made too many mistakes in a home game against Randers HK, and eventually lost.

Now the team of Henrik Signell will once again play at home, and now they hope to do better. Yet the task is not easy given Nantes' confident start at the tournament. The French side showed their offensive power in Oldenburg, having beaten their German rivals 37:30. So far, Nantes have won their all EHF Cup games this season, including those in the three qualification rounds. Obviously now they seek to continue their good run in Sweden.  


Brest Bretagne Handball (FRA) vs Kuban (RUS)
Saturday 14 January, 18:00 local time, live on ehfTV.

The game in Brest is a clash of the two Group B leaders as both Brest Bretagne Handball and Kuban started the EHF Cup group phase with victories.

Brest did it in an especially exciting way, since their victory in Leipzig with the score of 34:15 turned out to be the biggest win in the whole Round 1.

Kuban's win against Alba Fehervar KC was in fact also quite clear. Yet after a ten-goal lead at half-time, the Russian side slowed down, which made their head coach Evgeni Trefilov angry.

"The second half was a total failure. It was horrible. Even God helped us on that day, but we could not use it. Yes, at the moment we are winning, but the opponents' level is growing, and we need to grow, too,' Trefilov emotionally said after the game.

On Wednesday, he probably was happier. In the Russian league, Trefilov's team emphatically beat the outsider Ufa-Alisa 42:22, which was Kuban's biggest victory in the current season.

HC Leipzig (GER) vs Alba Fehervar KC (HUN)
Saturday 14 January, 18:00 local time

The team from Leipzig swallowed a bitter pill at the start of their EHF Cup campaign. Just 15 goals against Brest Bretagne Handball was the worst scoring result on Day 1 among all teams participating in the group stage.

The absence of injured team leaders Ewgenija Minevskaja, Franziska Mietzner and Anne Hubinger clearly weakened the potential of the German side.

Even the Bundesliga win against TV Nellingen on Wednesday (31:23) has a bitter taste, as Saskia Lang injured her knee and was delivered to hospital.

'Obviously it is a shock for us,' Leipzig's coach Norman Rentsch told after the game.

Alba Fehervar are not in best sprits either at the moment. Having lost to Kuban in their opening group game, three days later they suffered another defeat, probably a more painful one. The leader of the Hungarian league Györi Audi ETO KC were too strong for the eighth-placed Alba Fehervar, who were smashed 22:36.


Byasen Trondheim (NOR) vs Rostov-Don (RUS)
Sunday 15 January, 16:00 local time, live on ehfTV

Byasen are not among the favourites in the strong Group C, and their defeat against Bietigheim in the opening round is hardly a sensation.

However, the Trondheim-based team conceded way too many goals (39), so they should focus on a better game in defence if they want to be competitive.

Now they face another challenge as Rostov-Don is coming to Norway. The Russian team, relegated from the EHF Champions League, started their EHF Cup campaign with a win against EDH HC.

Just two days later, Rostov continued their perfect run in the Russian league. The emphatic victory against Luch Moscow (41:21) became for them the 11th in as many games, and Rostov continue to top the table.

ERD HC (HUN) vs SG BBM Bietigheim  (GER)
Sunday 15 January, 16:00 local time, live on ehfTV

Although ERD HC lost their opening game in Rostov, the Hungarian team left a pretty solid impression. They showed character and fought hard against an opponent which is arguably the main favourite of the EHF Cup. Now the team of Edina Szabo will play in front of their own fans, and their support should help them.

Yet ERD need to pay special attention to their defensive game. Bietigheim was the team that scored the biggest number of goals in all EHF Cup games during the past weekend. Against Byasen, the German side found the net as many as 39 times.

Four days later, they scored even more against TSG Ketsch in the German Cup quarter-final (47:22) and reached the Final Four of the tournament for the first time in history. This game also featured a long-awaited comeback of the goalkeeper Ann-Cathrin Giegerich, who had missed eight months due to a crucial ligament rupture.


Handball Club Lada (RUS) vs Glassverket (NOR)
Saturday 14 January, 16:00 local time, live on ehfTV

Unlike their country-fellows Rostov-Don and Kuban, Lada Togliatti could not make an Orthodox Christmas present to their fans in the first group game. In Naestved, the Russian team were outclassed by NFH-Nykøbing Falster Håndboldklub.

The hosts were able to neutralise Lada's key player Daria Dmitrieva, who scored her first goal only in the closing minutes of the first half. At the end of the game, when the result was clear, Togliatti's coach Levon Akopyan picked up some younger players from the bench, giving them a chance to play on the European stage.

Now Lada play at home and hope to redeem themselves, but so do Glassverket. Having lost all six games in the EHF Champions League group round, the Norwegian team started their campaign in the EHF Cup with yet another defeat. At home, they scored just 16 goals against TuS Metzingen, which was obviously not enough for picking up any points.

TuS Metzingen (GER) vs NFH-Nykøbing Falster Håndboldklub (DEN)
Saturday 14 January, 20:00 local time

Both teams opened their EHF Cup group phase campaign with wins, so their clash in Metzingen may play a key role in the Group D.

TuS Metzingen started the new year on a good note. After beating Glassverket in Norway, on Wednesday they earned another victory, this time against VfL Oldenburg in the German Cup quarter-final (27:26). The game was dramatic, and Maren Weigel scored the winning goal for Metzingen at the last second.

NFH impressed with their performance last Saturday, leaving no chances to Lada Togliatti. Mette Gravholt, Johanna Westberg and Nathalie Hagman were hard to stop, which resulted in a clear 35:23 victory. Now the Danish side are up to another big test, and they are looking forward to it.

TEXT: Sergey Nikolaev / br

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