Two German teams, one Austrian and one Russian side made it to the quarter-finals of the Women´s Cup Winners´ Cup last weekend.
Four teams through to quarter-finals
Half of the tickets for the quarter-final party of the Women´s Cup Winners´ Cup have been already distributed. Two German teams Thüringer HC and HC Leipzig, one Austrian side Hypo NÖ and one Russian outfit Rostov-Don clinched their berths in the top eight of the competition after double-matches on their home courts and will have to wait until Tuesday, 12 February, when the quarter-finals draw at the EHF office in Vienna will take place.
Because of the Bundesliga Allstars match taking place in their hall, last season´s semi-finalists HC Leipzig had to play in Dessau their first encounter with Norwegian runners-up Byåsen Trondheim. Despite that they build up a three goal lead (26:23) before the rematch in Leipzig and in front of 3500 spectators on Sunday they were able to defend it (23:23).
“I am proud of my team and I want to thank to all our fans who found their way to the hall again. Leipzig is a handball city and therefore it is nice, we can offer our fans another round in the European Cup competition,” Stefan Madsen, the head coach of HCL cheered for the club website.
Leipzig´s domestic rivals, Thüringer HC followed their compatriots even in a more impressive fashion as they easily beat Macedonian title holders WHC Metalurg twice – 29:11, 32:24.
Mirjeta Bajramoski scored 19 goals for Metalurg, but her brilliant performance could not beat the combined effort of the home team led by Nadja Nadgornaja and Lýdia Jakubisová with nine each.
“Skopje showed a different face in the second match than in our first tie. But we wanted to go full-throttle and to show our fans another pretty match. The match was more thrilling than a first one, which had turned into an open blows exchange,” the head coach of German champions Herbert Müller said for the club website.
The reigning World Handball Player of the Year Alexandra Do Nascimento confirmed her reputation in both matches of Hypo NÖ against the third German team in the competition, TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen. The Brazilian star paved the way of her team to the top eight with a total of 17 goals as record Austrian champions beat Bayer 31:27 and 27:25.
The double-match between Rostov-Don and Team Esbjerg turned into a goal-scoring race between two players as Regina Shymkute led the home team with 22 goals and Lotte Grigel answered with 20 for the visitors. After a narrow Saturday victory 29:28, the Russian side sealed the qualification for the next stage in the first half of the Sunday tie, which they won by nine goals.
Two more clubs made big strides towards the quarter-finals. Russian champions Dinamo Volgograd beat Serbian title holders RK Zaječar 31:23 even despite the bombardment of Maja Zebić (10 goals).
Vistal Łączpol Gdynia achieved the second easy victory over Balonmano Bera Bera within five months. After the Polish champions blew the Spanish outfit away in the Women´s EHF Champions League Qualification in Viborg last September (31:22), they achieved even more convincing victory on the home court – 32:20.
After they had narrowly missed the Women´s EHF Champions League Main Round, the Croatian champions HC Podravka Vegeta quickly found a new motivation in the other European Cup competition.
In front of 2300 spectators they defeated Hungary´s Váci NKSE 23:15 even without recently injured top scorer Sanja Damnjanović.
Photo: Mario Gentzel, Robert Šostarić
TEXT: EHF / br
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