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28.02.2019, 15:00
The road to the Last 16: what teams need to clinch the final berth
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ROAD MAP: Montpellier, Meshkov Brest and IFK Kristianstad are in a three-way battle that can see only one team clinch the final Last 16 berth. We break down what each of the Group A teams needs to progress
 

The road to the Last 16: what teams need to clinch the final berth

Four berths for the Last 16 phase plus the group winners’ quarter-final ticket have already been secured in VELUX EHF Champions League Group A, but the sixth qualifying place is still up for grabs before the last round, with three teams locked in the fight.

After 13 games, Montpellier and Brest are tied on seven points in sixth place, while Kristianstad are two points behind after a four-game losing streak.

In the final round of the group phase, there is no easy game for any of the three sides, as Brest host Kristianstad in the Match of the Week, while Montpellier travel to Skopje to play against Vardar, who are eyeing second place in the group.

Only the French side control their fate, as they will clinch the Last 16 berth if they win against Vardar in the last round. Regardless of what Brest do against Kristianstad, Montpellier would be through with a victory as they hold the tiebreaker over the Belarusian champions thanks to a 29:23 home win that cancelled Meshkov’s 26:23 result in round 2.

But if Montpellier fail to win, they will be exposed. They will proceed to the next phase of the competition in case of a draw only if Brest do not win against Kristianstad. Lose and they will be out regardless of the result in the Match of the Week.

On the other hand, Brest need Montpellier to stumble as well as a positive result on the home court against Kristianstad. Anything else and they are out.

Finally, the only way that Kristianstad can proceed to the next phase of the competition is if they win at Brest and Montpellier lose against Vardar. The Swedish side would then win a three-way tie courtesy of their victories against Montpellier and Brest as well as a draw against the French side. In that case, Brest would be seventh in the group and the title holders would finish last.

GROUP A
Montpellier HB clinch a Last 16 berth if they:

  • win against Vardar

  • draw against Vardar and Brest do not win against Kristianstad

HC Meshkov Brest are through if they: 

  • win against Kristianstad and Montpellier lose to Vardar

  • draw with Kristianstad and Montpellier lose to Vardar

IFK Kristianstad secure a Last 16 place if they: 

  • win against Brest and Montpellier lose to Vardar


TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / cg
 
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