Spanish champions from Itxako made an unlikely turn in Istanbul as they erased a 13 goal deficit in the second leg
Defending trophy holders ousted by Holstebro
Two Russian and two Danish teams made their way to the Women´s EHF Cup Quarter-finals joining the representatives of Norway, Romania, France and Spain.
Especially, the Spanish participation was in a real danger after the Saturday´s 24:37 defeat of Grupo Asfi Itxako Navarra on the court of Turkish Cankaya Belediyesi Anka Spor Kulübü. However, they made an unlikely run on the very next day to the victory 36:23 to erase the huge gap and to qualify based on the away goals rule to the top eight.
After the double winners of the Women´s EHF Cup from FC Midtjylland had secured their quarter-final ticket already during the first weekend their domestic rivals from Team Tvis Holstebro followed their path last weekend as they ousted the defending holders of the EHF Cup Lada Togliatti.
Having won the first leg by five goals the 30:30 draw in the second leg was by far enough for the quarter-finals spot.
"It is an amazing result. As I see it, we and FC Midtjylland are the two strongest teams remaining teams among the last eight, so it is about avoiding them at Tuesday's draw," Holstebro coach Niels Agesen said for the official club website.
Last season´s final opponents of Lada were more successful as Romania´s HC Zalau showed no mercy to Portugal´s Juve Lis in both matches played at home and won by 32 goals in aggregate score.
Metz Handball refused to give an early farewell in their consecutive 20th season in the EHF club competitions and exactly as in the first leg they used the second half-time run to beat KGHM Metraco Zaglebie Lubin in Poland 24:22.
However, the second French team HAC Handball were eliminated after they lost to Tertnes Bergen on the home court as well (18:21) as the Norwegian international Linn Gosse led the Scandivanian outfit to the next round with nine goals.
HC "Kuban" Krasnodar overcome the two goal deficit from the first leg in Macedonia and beat ŽRK Vardar SCBT 22:17, but the team from Skopje were just warming up for next season.
After several important new signings in the past days Vardar will have much higher ambitions.
Another team from former Yugoslavia Serbia´s WHC Radnički Kragujevac were also ousted by the Russian side as Astrakhanachka won both matches played on the coast of Caspian Sea in front of 3000 spectators.
The draw of the Women´s EHF Cup Quarter-finals will take place on Tuesday, 12 February at 11:00 hrs local time at the EHF office in Vienna.
As there will be no seeding for the draw, all teams will be drawn from the same pot. In this draw, the country protection rule will not be applied: two clubs from the same country may face each other in the next round.
Directly after the quarter-finals pairings will be determined, the semi-finals draw will be carried out as well.
TEXT: EHF / br
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