12.05.2012, 12:00
Previews: EHF Women's European Cup handball set for thrilling finish

We preview the three EHF Cup finals which will reach a thrilling finale this weekend.

EHF Women's Cup Winners’ Cup

Viborg HK vs. FTC-Rail Cargo Hungary
16:40 hrs (local time) Viborg Stadionhal, Viborg, Denmark

First Leg: FTC-Rail Cargo Hungary vs. Viborg HK 31:30 (14:12)

Watch the Second Leg live on ehfTV.com HERE

Reigning EHF Women's Cup Winners' Cup champions FTC-Rail Cargo Hungary will try to defend their one-goal advantage from the first-leg tie against Viborg in Denmark.

It was a close game on Sunday (6 May) in Dabas with the Hungarians having control of the match for 45 minutes, but some wobbles in both the first and second halves meant a much closer result at the final whistle.

Both teams played league matches on the Wednesday evening prior to the match, and whilst Viborg defeated Tvis Holstebro in the semi-final of the Danish league, the Hungarians suffered a narrow defeat against EHF Women's Champions League finalist Győri Audi ETO.

Despite the defeat, Ferencváros dominated the first half in Győr and coach Gábor Elek's back line of Szandra Zácsik, Zsuzsanna Tomori, and Zita Szucsánszki worked well, leaving the Győr players stunned.

Those domestic games were a great preparation for the two sides before they lock horns again, this time in Denmark on Sunday.

A thrilling game will be expected with a slight advantage for the hosts from Viborg, but FTC should not be underestimated!

EHF Women's Challenge Cup:

H.A.C. Handball vs. Muratpaşa Belediyesi SK
18:00 hrs (local time) Saturday 12 May, Docks Oceane, Le Havre, France

First Leg: Muratpaşa Belediyesi SK vs. H.A.C. Handball 27:36 (13:18)

On paper, this is one of the clearest duels in this year's EHF Women's European Cup finals, as French outfit H.A.C. are already nine goals ahead and are playing the return match on home soil.

But despite their big lead, the club has warned its players not to celebrate too early. Another 60 minutes are still to be played and the eager Turks, led by back-player Serpil Iskenderoglu, will certainly be out to spring a surprise in France.

Women's EHF Cup:

HC Zalau (ROU) vs. Lada Togliatti (RUS)
17:00 hrs (local time) Saturday 12 May, Antonio Alexa Hall, Oradea, Romania

First Leg: Lada Togliatti (RUS) vs. HC Zalau (ROU) 30:24 (15:14)

Watch the Second Leg live on ehfTV.com HERE

The first clash between Lada`s trainer Evgeny Trefilov and Zalau's Gheorghe Tadici ended with a six-goal home victory for the Russians, and in the return leg the Romanians will try to turn the tables and celebrate another European cup title.

Interest in the final is high despite Lada winning the first leg, and the game will now take place in Oradea, not Zalau, because the Antonio Alexe Sports Hall has a bigger capacity.

"We have ticket requests coming in from all corners of the country such as Negreşti Oaş, Marghita, Satu Mare, Salonta, and Deva," coach Tadici said to Romanian website prosport.ro.

The club has sold 600 tickets in their own city and fans will arrive at Oradea in nine buses. 500 tickets went on sale in the host city and the remaining 1,700 tickets will be sold throughout Transylvania.

Despite the Lada victory, coach Tadici announced that the final is far from decided, and he still believes his side can win: "We can achieve victory if we score six goals and win on aggregate thanks to the away goal rule."

Lada had planned to warm-up for the Women's EHF Cup final with a mid-week match against Zvezda in the bronze medal match in the Russian Championship. But they lost out 23:28, with Irina Bliznova the top scorer with six goals.

The two teams met again on Thursday (10 May) for the decisive duel before Lada flew out to Romania to play their third game within a very short period.

TEXT: Mark Hegedus

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