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04.02.2018, 23:01
Zagreb and Kristianstad join Lublin in the elite eight
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ROUND REVIEW: After MKS Lublin qualified for the quarter-final of the Women’s Challenge Cup last weekend, two more teams followed the Polish side.
 

Zagreb and Kristianstad join Lublin in the elite eight

Kristianstad Handball Klubb became the second team to reach the quarter-finals after MKS Perla Lublin qualified last weekend.

The European debutants from southern Sweden were only in trouble for the first 40 minutes of their doubleheader in Baku against AZERYOL Handball Club.

The home team lead by four goals in the first half of the first leg and again at the beginning of the second, but towards the end Kristianstad completely dominated. The Swedish side scored the last six goals of the match to win 30:24.

In the second match in the ABU Arena of Baku, Kristianstad left no doubt by taking an early four-goal lead.

This lead was increased to 10 goals in the second half before winning by nine and cruising into the quarter-finals.

Ruling Challenge Cup winners HC Lokomotiva Zagreb are also through to the next stage.

Lokomotiva won both legs of their double header at against A.C. PAOK from Greece.

The Croatian hosts won the first leg 37:17 on Saturday, before securing a relatively more modest 33:20 win on Sunday.

Larissa Kalaus had her own personal party in the Sport hall SD Tresnjevka.

The 21-year-old Croatian right back scored 16 goals for Lokomotiva over the weekend.

As mentioned above, Kristianstad are in the quarter-final, and they may very well be Sweden’s only representatives in the next round.

The other European debutant from the Scandinavian country, Boden IF, find themselves in trouble against Rocasa Gran Canaria.

The 2016 Challenge Cup winners took a major step towards the quarter-finals by winning 31:26 in Boden Arena.

Gran Canaria dominated the first half, leading 14:7 at half-time and were up by nine goals early in the second half, before Boden managed to reduce the gap a bit.

13 goals from line player Haridian Rodriguez played a big part in the Spanish win, which gives them a clear edge ahead of the return game on Sunday 11 February.

Turkish delight

The other Spanish side in the Last 16, Rincon Fertilidad Malaga may have more trouble reaching the quarter-final.

Malaga lost the first leg in Lithuania 28:24 against ACME-Zalgiris Kaunas, despite leading 14:11 at the break.

Nevertheless, the tie appears open with the second leg in southern Spain next Saturday 10 February.

The two Turkish sides in the competition are both virtually in the quarter-finals already.

Ardesen GSK won 41:27 in Portugal against Alavarium/Love Tiles, while Zagnosspor won 34:24 away against Serbian side ZORK Jagodina.

The last tie, Virto/Quintus vs ZRK Naisa Nis, is being player as a doubleheader next weekend, when the second leg of the four other Last 16 ties also take place.


TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor
 
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