Last twelve teams make it to Men´s EHF Cup Round 3
The list of participating teams in the Men´s EHF Cup Round 3 has been completed. Last twelve outfits made it through to the final qualification hurdle before the Group Phase of the new European second-tier competition over the last weekend (19-21 October).
The draw of the Men’s EHF Cup Round 3 is to take place at the EHF headquarters in Vienna on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 at 14:00 hrs (local time).
The first leg of Round 3 will be played 24/25 November and the second leg one week later. The Group Phase of four groups of four teams will start only after the World Championship in Spain – 9/10 February.
No fewer than nine matches offered a thrilling second leg with the final goal difference only up to three goals. In two cases the rematch was enormously exciting as only a single goal decided in favour of qualified teams.
All-Swedish match between Eskilstuna Guilf and IFK Kristianstad repeated the breathtaking comeback scenario from the first leg in which Kristianstad were losing by seven goals only to win 24:22. However Guilf managed to overcome on aggregate seven goal deficit after the first half and won 26:23 (48:47).
Dinamo Poltava were ousted by Croatia´s RK Siscia despite playing both matches on the home ground. The Ukrainian champions won the first match on Friday by one goal 24:23, but in the second leg on Saturday they left one goal shy of the Round 3.
Round 2 became the final harbour for flagships of four other national leagues.
After Montenegro´s HC Lovćen and Italy´s Loacker Südtirol had been eliminited during the first weekend (12-14 October), they were followed by the title holders of the Netherlands and Iceland, coincidentally both being stopped by a Slovenian team.
HV KRAS/Volendam lost the first leg 31:32 to RK Cimos Koper last week and the VELUX EHF Champions League Wild Card tournament participant repeated the success on the home court too winning 27:25 despite a tough resistence of Volendam.
Branik Maribor made their way through HK Kopavogur in an impressive style winning both matches played in Slovenia – 42:25 and 35:25.
The Turkish champions were much luckier. After their 33:40 defeat in Romania´s HC Odorheiu Secuiesc, Besiktas JK won the rematch by eight (37:29).
A.C. Diomidis Argous, the winners of the previous edition of the EHF Challenge Cup hosted both legs against Portugal´s Madeira SAD and the Greek champions prevailed twice – 30:25 and 32:26 despite the 19 goal performance (10+9) of Joao Pinto.
Lithuanian Nerijus Atajevas scored 15 goals in the second leg leading his Belarusian side HC Meshkov Brest to the victory (35:30) over Croatia´s RK Nexe Našice and to Round 3 starting grid.
As expected after their 19:36 defeat in Skopje the first ever trip to the European competition of HK A.S.A. Město Lovosice ended in the second leg of Round 2, however the Czech team was able at least to beat HC Vardar PRO 25:24.
During the first half Serbia´s RK Vojvodina increased their aggregate lead over Balatonfüredi KSE from the first leg (29:25) to seven goals, but Hungarian team fought back in the second half and missed the ticket only by two goals (27:24).
Hungary lost both of its representatives as Grundfos Tatabánya KC were eliminated by Elverum Handball from Norway (46:59).
Team Tvis Holstebro erased the three goal deficit from the first leg (26:29) against Tauron Stal Mielec early in the first half and after aggregate win 56:53 they followed their fellow Danish outfit from KIF Kolding to the Round 3.
Not only Danish league will have two teams on the starting line to the Group Phase. Thanks to successful second leg against Macedonian HC Kumanovo and 61:58 aggregate win Russia´s Sungul Snezhinsk teamed up with Permskie Medvedi.
Altogether eight countries will have their representation doubled in Round 3 (Denmark, Norway, Spain, France, Russia, Slovenia, Portugal and Bosnia and Herzegovina).
However three German clubs including the winner of the last edition of the old EHF Cup Frisch Auf Göppingen created the strongest embassy for Bundesliga. In total eight national champions (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Israel, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia and Turkey) made it to the doorstep of the Group phase.
Find the results of Round 2 here
Find more information about the draw procedure here
Photo: Selcuk Genc, Gunnar Johansson, Davor Remec, Boštjan Selinšek, Milana Kharytonava, Péter Orosz, Evgeni Lomov
TEXT: EHF / br