Kolding reached the next stage as they jumped over the third hurdle, Besiktas made an unbelievable comeback with Haslum, Magdeburg survived the hell in Kale
Sixteen for Group Phase completed
All sixteen clubs of the Men´s EHF Cup Group Phase have been confirmed over the first weekend of December as at several places only the narrowest margins decided about the proceeding teams in the second leg of Round 3.
On Saturday Polish runners-up Orlen Wisła Płock and the winners of the last edition of the old EHF Cup Frisch Auf! Göppingen were among those teams qualified for the top sixteen of the competition, on the other hand the Austrian title holders Alpla HC Hard, Portuguese champions Porto or the Spanish top seed BM Aragon made early exits from the continental club competitions.
On Sunday, two more German teams joined Göppingen as Rhein Neckar Löwen made a compulsory dance in Argous and SC Magdeburg survived the hell in the Kale hall in Skopje against hosts from Vardar Skopje. Norwegian champions Haslum HK squandered eleven goal lead after the first leg as they lost by twelve in Istanbul against Beşiktaş JK.
Romania´s Știința Municipal Dedeman Bacău qualified already last weekend, since both matches with Israeli champions Maccabi Srugo Rishon Lezion had to be played in Romania due to the security concerns.
The draw of the Men´s EHF Cup Group Phase will take place on 6 December at 13:00 hrs local time in Belgrade.
RK Vojvodina (SRB) vs. Naturhouse La Rioja (ESP) 26:22 (10:9), first leg: 19:28
Spanish team which was seeded directly for the third round suffered the first defeat in the second match, but thanks to a nine goal cushion from the home duel they easily qualified for the Group Phase.
BM Aragon (ESP) vs. Eskilstuna Guif (SWE) 31:27 (16:13), first leg: 26:30
With aggregate score tied at Aragon lost only because of the away goals rule as Swedish team Eskilstuna Guilf scored just one more goal in Zaragoza (27:31) as Aragon did in Sweden last week (26:30).
FC Porto Vitalis (POR) vs. RK Cimos Koper (SLO) 27:22 (12:10), first leg: 23:29
Another thrilling match was played in Porto´s Dragon´s Den (Dragao Caixa) where the hosts beat RK Cimos Koper 27:22, but could not erase the six goal deficit from the first leg played on the court of the Slovenian surprise package of the VELUX EHF Champions League last season´s. In a dramatic finish Porto played with an extra attacker with six players against four visitors on the court, but the last second shot of Wilson Davyes from nine meters was blocked by Matjaž Brumen.
"We could feel the absence of Nikola Manojlović very much on both ends of the court. Porto have a good team with many Portuguese internationals and they proved their quality tonight. At the end our more experienced players took over the responsibility and our goalkeeper Gorazd Škof had a great night," Koper´s coach Fredi Radojkovič said at the press conference.
SL Benfica (POR) vs. HBC Nantes (GER) 28:22 (11:11), first leg: 21:29
The French top seeded team from Nantes lost in Lisbon against Benfica 22:28, but never got in real troubles during the match as the "violets" cautiosly protected their eight goals lead from the first match and Portuguese hosts reached the dangerous distance too late.
Sungul Snezhinsk (RUS) vs. Orlen Wisła Płock (POL) 24:29 (12:16), first leg: 23:37
After an impressive 37:24 first leg victory against Sungul Snezhinsk Płock confirmed their progress with another win (29:24) despite playing without their goalkeeping stalwart.
Croatian Marin Šego was denied to enter Russia by the clerks at the Yekaterinburg airport, but his collegue Marcin Wichary had a stellar performance and with 52 per cent saving efficiency led his team to a comfortable victory.
Top scorer of the match was Norwegian right winger Christian Spanne with 11 goals.
Polish team, which failed at the Wild Card tournament of the VELUX EHF Champions League in September, had to overcome not only the shock caused by Šego, but the minus 20 temperatures and five time zones shift too. In the second half they increased the lead to nine goals and only then Snezhinsk managed to cut the deficit.
HC Meshkov Brest (BLR) vs. Frisch Auf! Göppingen (GER) 24:29 (11:16), first leg: 17:29
Also Göppingen were dominant in the re-match with Meshkov Brest and after 29:17 victory in Germany the bundesliga team beat the Belarusian hosts 29:24. Manuel Späth and Mitar Markez scored 7 goals each, Croatian Ljubo Vukić netted nine times for Brest.
Alpla HC Hard (AUT) vs. HC Motor Zaporozhye (UKR) 22:33 (9:17), first leg: 26:27
Austrian title holders failed to turn the promising result of the first leg against Ukraine´s HC Motor Zaporozhye (26:27) into a progress. They paid costly for too many technical errors in the first half and since 6:6 Motor were able to make a run to 10:6 and later to 17:9.
The destruction of the home team continued after the break (20:9) and when trailing by twelve (14:26) six Alpla prospects were sent to the field to gain some international experience. "Our players were working like a one well-constructed machine tonight," the director of Zaporozhye Gennadiy Kasay praised his team for the official club website.
Tatran Prešov (SVK) vs. RK Borac m:tel Banja Luka (BIH) 30:25 (12:11), first leg: 36:25
Slovakian champions Tatran Prešov also accomplished the Group Phase objective quite easily.
Entering the second leg against RK Borac m:tel Banja Luka on the home court with a 11 goal lead Prešov failed to repeat the same dominant performance against the Bosnian side, but they still managed to win 30:25 and landed in the Pot 1 before the draw of four groups.
Left wing Radoslav Antl notched up 12 goals for Tatran, but he was hardly satisfied after the match.
"All our fans in the hall could see we were far from a perfect shape. In the last eight days we played four matches a also made long bus trips to Banja Luka and Skopje, so it was an interesting week," he said for Slovak news agency TASR.
RK Sloga Doboj (BIH) vs. Elverum Handball Herrer (NOR) 27:37 (15:16), first leg: 24:34
Norway´s Elverum copied the ten goal victory from the first leg in Bosnia as well as they broke down the resistence of Sloga Doboj in the second half and won 37:27. Andre Lindboe scored 12 goals for the visitors as he reached the milestone of 50 goals in six matches of the EHF Cup.
Despite losing the second leg 22:26 on the RK Vojvodina´s ground Spanish team Naturhouse La Rioja sailed past the hosts to the next stage after bringing nine goals cushion to Serbia.
RK Maribor Branik (SLO) vs. RK Siscia (CRO) 35:22 (19:13), first leg: 29:30
Slovenia´s Maribor completed the successful run to the Group Phase from the Round 1 as they avoid any complications with Croatia´s Siscia at home.
Branik quickly deleted one goal deficit from the first leg and built a decisive six goal lead.
The former player of Siscia Nikola Spelić was the best scorer of Maribor with seven goals.
AC Diomidis Argous (GRE) vs. Rhein-Neckar Löwen (GER) 27:27 (14:11), first leg: 17:37
Serbian left back Žarko Šešum netted 12 goals in Loutraki in the second leg, but his German team was close to a an unexpected defeat against the Greek Challenge Cup winners of the last season. Argous led by three goals at the half-time break, but at the end they had to settle with the draw.
KIF Kolding (DEN) vs. Permskie Medvedi (RUS) 41:24 (17:13), first leg: 27:30
Not even another stellar shooting performance of Yuriy Orlov could prevent Permskie Medvedi from being eliminated by KIF Kolding.
Orlov scored astonishing 23 goals against the new Danish giant and half of the Russian side output, but it was not enough to stop the avalanche in the second half as Kolding won the second part 24:11.
With a final result 41:24 they easily matched the three goal disadvantage from the first leg.
Saint-Raphaël Var Handball (FRA) vs. Team Tvis Holstebro (DEN) 35:32 (18:15), first leg: 19:35
French club was able to copy goals scored of Holstebro from the first leg, but the defence of the home team allowed 13 more goals than the Danish side a week ago. Aurelien Abily said this season´s farewell to the European club competitions as the top scorer of the match with ten goals.
Beşiktaş JK (TUR) vs. Haslum HK (NOR) 37:25 (18:9), first leg: 20:31
Ramazan Döne scored 14 times as his team accomplished a Herculean task and rallied from eleven goals deficit from Norway and beat Scandinavians by twelve.
HC Vardar PRO Skopje (MKD) vs. SC Magdeburg (GER) 28:26 (14:14), first leg: 27:30
Ten goals by Austrian right wing Robert Weber paved the way to the Group Phase for Magdeburg after a thrilling second leg at the Kale hall in the Macedonian capital. The team from German league managed to pull back to two goals deficit in the last minute despite playing with one player suspended.
Men’s EHF Cup Group Phase Seeding
TEXT: EHF / br
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