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18.02.2018, 20:00
A.E.K. and Fyllingen come back from deficits to reach quarter-finals
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ROUND REVIEW: A.E.K. Athens overcome a four-goal deficit from the first leg and FyllingenBergen come back from three goals behind, as both teams reach the quarter-finals of the Men’s Challenge Cup.

»EC Channel »2017-18 Men's Challenge Cup
»Last 16
»
 

A.E.K. and Fyllingen come back from deficits to reach quarter-finals

After SKIF Krasnodar and HC Berchem qualified last weekend, there were six quarter-final berths to be decided in the final Men’s Challenge Cup Last 16 matches this weekend.

A four-goal deficit, 29:25, after their visit to Turkey in the first leg turned out to be absolutely no problem for A.E.K. Athens when they took on Göztepe SK for the return match on home ground on Saturday.

During the first 30 minutes, Göztepe were able to keep their opponents on a relatively short leash, and as they were only down 14:11 at half-time, the visitors still had the chance to proceed to the quarter-finals. In the second half however, A.E.K. left no doubt, as they cruised to a 32:23 win and claimed an undisputed quarter-final ticket.

AM Madeira Andebol SAD were also trailing after the first leg, but only by two goals. The Portuguese side had lost their away game against MSK Povazska Bystrica 25:23. On home ground however, Madeira turned the tables against their Slovakian opponents. After leading by a clear 14:9 at half-time, Madeira went on to win 30:24 and secure their quarter-final berth.

MadeiraSad_Pinto_565

FyllingenBergen seemed to be heading to the quarter-finals after winning 25:22 away against HC Eurofarm Rabotnik last weekend, but the Norwegian team were shocked by their opponents when the return match began in Framohallen, Bergen.

In fact, it took Eurofarm just three minutes to catch up with the three-goal deficit from the first match. From that three-goal lead, the visitors did not take long to pull five goals ahead. As they maintained the same distance for most of the first half, Eurofarm seemed to be heading to the next round.

Towards half-time however, Fyllingen reduced the distance to just one goal at 16:15, and in the second period, the home team created a decisive score line, 36:28, and can now look forward to the draw for the quarter-finals.

“It was a question of not getting stressed, and we never did. We simply needed a little more time to figure things out, but we had much more capacity than them, and that became obvious the more the match progressed,” said FyllingenBergen line player Andreas Gjeitrem.

Challenge Cup top scorer Anton Otrezov did his bit as Dynamo-Victor became the second Russian team, after SKIF Krasnodar, to reach the quarter-finals. With 12 goals, the 29-year-old centre back increased his total to 54 this season, leading Dynamo to a 28:26 victory against Red Boys Differdange in Luxembourg.

Dynamo had already won 31:26 at home, so their second victory simply emphasised their claim to a place in the last eight.

IBV Vestmannaeyjar were leading 32:25 after their home game against SGS Ramhat Hashron HC, and that seven-goal advantage proved to be more than enough when the Icelandic team visited Israel for the return match. Hashron were never really close to catching up with the clear deficit, and with a 21:21 draw on Saturday, IBV could celebrate their entry to the quarter-final.

The second-leg clash between HC Vise BM and AHC Potaissa Turda was essentially a formality, as Turda had won 44:24 at home. The Romanian team, who reached the final of the competition last season, were all but through when the match began on Saturday night. Vise did get something of a consolation on home ground, as the Belgian team won the second leg 29:24.


TEXT: Peter Bruun / cg
 
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