ROUND PREVIEW: The Women´s Cup Winners' Cup Last 16 throws off on Friday with the first two of eight first leg matches
Odense looking forward to match of the year
For the second year in succession, Hypo Niederösterreich did not make it to the main round of the Women's EHF Champions League after they finished third in their preliminary group.
Instead, the Austrian record champions are now starting the chase for their second Cup Winners' Cup triumph in a row.
The hunt starts Friday night in Odense, where the ladies from Vienna meet HC Odense in the first leg of the Last 16.
It is an event they are looking forward to in fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen´s native city, where the hosts are already characterising the match as the match of the year.
“We are looking extremely forward to testing ourselves against one of the world´s best teams. We are meeting a top team with seven new world champions, but in Odense we do not wave the white flag,” HC Odense captain Kamilla Kristensen said.
Also on Friday night, Fleury Loiret Handball are taking on Veszprem Barabas Dunatakarek KC from Hungary in the first leg of a double header on French soil, of which the second leg is taking place two days later on Sunday evening.
A Danish derby opens in Viborg Stadionhal Saturday afternoon. Viborg HK and Team Tvis Holstebro were in the same qualification group for the Women’s EHF Champions League, but neither made it to the group matches.
Now the two teams, who are both in contention at the top of the Danish league have drawn each other in what may very well be a pair of dramas for the quarter-final berth.
For Swedish international Linnea Torstensson, it will be her first European appearance after she joined Viborg from Slovenian side Krim Mercator.
Drama may also be the headline for the meeting in Russia, where Metz Handball, who finished third in their group in Europe’s elite competition, visit Zvezda Zvenigorod.
Metz reached the final of the Women´s EHF Cup last year and after having failed to qualify for the main round, the French women will be hungry for success in the Cup Winners' Cup this year, while Zvezda with their proud traditions will probably be just as keen on a successful campaign.
Neither FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria nor HC Podravka Vegeta managed to qualify for the main round of the Champions League. Instead, their third places in the group phase sent them here, where FTC host Norwegian Tertnes Bergen Sunday, while Podravka are take a trip to Russia to meet Rostov-Don, also on Sunday.
Finally, ÉRD Handball Club have a home game in Hungary Saturday against Buxtehuder SV from Germany, while Byasen Trondheim take the long journey from Norway to Croatia to meet HC Lokomotiva Zagreb on Sunday afternoon.
To the Croatians, the match will be a special event, as Lokomotiva are celebrating the club´s 65 year anniversary in connection with this match and hope their Norwegian guests will not spoil the party.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor
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