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27.11.2015, 18:00
Motor and Skjern eye early tickets to the knock-out phase
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GROUP D PREVIEW: Both play-off teams may be found before the last match day.

»EHF CL Channel »2015-16 Men's CL
»Group Phase
»
 

Motor and Skjern eye early tickets to the knock-out phase

When the last ball has been thrown around 20:00 CET on Sunday night, both teams who qualify for the play-off from Group D may have been found, although there will still be one match day left.

At the time, the last game on Match Day 9, between HC Metalurg and Skjern Handbold will be over, and if Skjern win that one, and if HC Motor Zaporozhye manage to win their home game against Kadetten Schaffhausen already Saturday, Motor and Skjern will be in the play-offs for the Last 16.

HCM Baia Mare will be ready to benefit, if one of the two stumble, as the Romanian champions have the home advantage against Elverum.

GROUP D

HC Motor Zaporozhye (UKR) vs Kadetten Schafhausen (SUI)
Saturday 28 November 18:00 hrs local time, live on ehfTV

Motor can make it all clear with a win in this match.

Two points for the Ukrainian champions will send them to the play-off, while a win for Schaffhausen will allow the Swiss champions to keep hoping for a play-off berth until the last match.

The first meeting between the two teams in the group phase, on 8 October, ended with a 30:27 win for Kadetten, who were leading clearly along the way.

Kadetten will obviously be hoping for a remake in the EksFors Ice Terminal Brovary in the outskirts of Kiev Saturday.

Motor will still have their fate in their own hands on the last match day next weekend even in case of a defeat, though.

In Schaffhausen, hundreds of fans will be following the match through public viewing in Kadetten's usual home arena, the BBC Arena.

HCM Baia Mare (ROU) vs Elverum Handball Herrer (NOR)
Sunday 29 November, 18:00 hrs local time, live on ehfTV

Even though Baia Mare are Champions League debutants and despite having lost a couple of players along the way, the Romanian champions are among the four teams in the group who still have a chance to proceed to the play-offs for the knockout matches.

However, Baia Mare no longer have their destiny in their own hands, but will have to rely on other results along with the own efforts.

Therefore, all they can do is win their home match against Elverum on Sunday, and hope for the other results in the group this weekend to go their way.

Baia Mare's first match against Elverum ended in a 28:28 draw in Norway on 11 October, but with only three points, Elverum are without a chance to go on in the tournament.

Still, having the chance to play a deciding role in which teams will proceed to the play-offs may be a motivating factor in itself for the Norwegian team.

“We never expected to proceed from the group phase. To us, simply playing in the Champions League has been a dream, and therefore, we are determined to enjoy every match and every minute, and that also goes for our match in Romania.

“Apart from our matches against Skjern, we have been able to follow our opponents in all our group matches, and after all, we got a point against Baia Mare at home, and we are definitely going to do our utmost to make a good performance down there as well, Elverum coach Mikael Apelgren tells ehfCL.com.

HC Metalurg (MKD) vs Skjern Handbold (DEN)
Sunday 29 November, 18:30 hrs local time, live on ehfTV

Things are very simple for Skjern ahead of the match in the Boris Trajkovski arena on Sunday evening.

A win, and the Danish team are in the knock-out stage.

“Of course, we will do everything we can to make it all clear already Sunday.

“However, we are up against a strong opponent, even though Metalurg have lost their chance to proceed,” Skjern coach Ole Nørgaard tells ehfCL.com.

“We only won by one goal against them at home (20:19) and in the meantime, they have even been reinforced by the signing of David Spiler, so we definitely expect a difficult match,” adds Nørgaard, who should not expect any gifts from the hosts Sunday.

“Unfortunately, we have lost even our theoretical chance to proceed to the next round, and we are obviously disappointed by that.

“However, we will try to do our best against Skjern, because our fans deserve to see a good performance from us and a win,” Metalurg coach Lino Cervar says.

“We want to revenge out one goal defeat through a last second goal in our first match against them, and we want to show that we are a good team, who is just without luck,” adds Cervar.


TEXT: Peter Bruun / br
 
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