04.04.2013, 07:20
Preview of the Cup Winners´s Cup Semi-finals, first leg

One debutant assured for the final as Issy take on Rostov in the semi-final. The race of German and Austrian champions in the second pairing.

Preview of the Cup Winners´s Cup Semi-finals, first leg

All four participants of the Cup Winners´ Cup Semi-finals started their current European campaign in the Women´s EHF Champions League at the start of the season. While both Rostov Don and Issy Paris Hand failed in the qualification tournaments in September, Hypo NÖ and Thüringer HC played in the Group Matches of the premier continental club competition and as both had finished third in their groups they were redirected to the Cup Winners´s Cup.

Issy Paris Hand (FRA) vs Rostov Don (RUS)
Friday 5 April, 19:30 hrs local time

The opening throw-off of the semi-finals schedule will take place on Friday in the French capital, where Issy will host Rostov. For both rivals this season is history in the making as their previous top result in the European Cups was a quarter-final appearance. And both want to achieve even more and reach the final.

“We know that French team is really very strong, but it cannot change our determination to make it to the final,” the head coach of Rostov Sergey Belitskiy said for the club´s TV before his team left to the French capital.

Thüringer HC (GER) vs Hypo NÖ (AUT)
Sunday 7 April, 15:30 hrs local time

On the other hand both national champions of Germany and Austria already played in the final double match. Thüringer HC lost the 2008/09 Challenge Cup final against Nimes and Hypo failed to add Cup Winners´ Cup trophy to their four EHF Champions League titles in as they were defeated by Ikast Bording in the final of the 2003/04 season.

The match against Hypo will have a special flavour not only for both Austrian players in THC uniforms Sonja Frey and Katrin Engel, but also for the head coach of the German title holders as Herbert Müller sits also on the bench of the Austrian national team.

“We are going to face an incredibly difficult opponent, but we want to fulfill this highly attractive task. We approach to the match with a huge respect, but also with a self-confidence as we do not need to fear any team. If we play the same quality handball as we have been playing in the bundesliga for the last month, then we have a realistic chance to reach the final,” Müller said at the press conference.

TEXT: EHF / br

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