QUARTER-FINAL REVIEW: Through a 37:23 victory on Sunday evening Byasen Trondheim sent the defending champions Hypo Niederösterreich out of this season's competition
Byasen's 14-goal win sends Hypo Niederösterreich out of Cup Winners' Cup
The Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final became the final destination for the defending champions Hypo Niederösterreich as they lost their encounter against Norwegian side Byasen Trondhein on aggregate goals.
The Austrian visitors had won the first leg of this weekend's double header in Norway by one goal, but that meant nothing as Byasen fired on all cylinders in the second match, taking home a 37:23 win.
While Byasen are already in the semi-final, Rostov-Don are virtually there after a 37:24 home win against Buxtehuder SV, and Zvezda Zvenigorod are close to becoming the second Russian team in the semi-finals after their 32:28 away win against Fleury Loiret Handball.
On Monday, 3 March, Viborg HK and FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria meet for their first leg of the quarter-final.
Byasen Trondheim (NOR) vs Hypo Niederösterreich (AUT) 29:30 (13:17)
Hypo Niederösterreich (AUT) vs. Byasen Trondheim (NOR) 23:37 (14:17) // Aggregate score 53:66
After trailing by one goal following an equal first leg, Byasen sent last season's Cup Winners' Cup winners out of the tournament with a stunning 37:23 win on the second day of this weekend's doubleheader in Norway.
Apart from seeing Brazilian left winger Franca da Silva scoring no less than 13 goals for Hypo Niederösterreich, the spectators present at the first leg witnessed game in which the upper hand changed often.
Hypo Niederösterreich went ahead early by four goals, only to see Byasen come back and take a five-goal lead, before it was the Austrian team's turn to be up by five.
At the end a one-goal difference predicted a lot of excitement for the second leg on Sunday
The first half of the return match was an equal affair, but Byasen nevertheless led 17:14 at half-time.
Soon in the second half, though, the 17:14 lead turned into 23:15 and a bit later into 28:18 in favour of the Norwegian side. And from then the 1,200 spectators saw the Norwegian side cruise to an astonishing 14 goal win.
"Hypo have some great players, but their squad is narrower than ours, so part of our tactic was to keep their key players occupied over those two matches, and I think they began to look tired during the second half of the second match.
"Apart from that, we played really well today, and we did particularly well in defence," Byasen coach Claus Mogensen told eurohandball.com after the second match.
Rostov-Don (RUS) vs Buxtehuder SV (GER) 37:24 (20:9)
Rostov-Don are virtually in the semi-final after their 13-goal win at home against Buxtehude on Saturday.
The team from Germany were missing the suspended Ulrik Ågren, but the absence of the experienced Swedish international was not enough to explain the huge difference between the teams, and Buxtehude coach Dirk Leun did not try to find excuses.
"Rostov were simply superior to us in all aspects of the game, and they were simply too big a handful for us," he said.
Rostov-Don practically the matter in the first half, where the 2,500 spectators in the Palace of Sport saw the Russian hosts get 11 goals ahead already.
"In the first half we seemed paralysed, like a rabbit in front of a snake," Leun said.
The second half became a bit more equal, but still the home team managed to increase their lead to 13 goals at the end.
"This was really a lesson to us, and in the return match next Saturday we will have to see what we have learned from this match," Leun commented.
Fleury Loiret Handball (FRAU) vs Zvezda Zvenigorod (RUS) 28:32 (15:15)
Russia is very close to getting two teams in the semi-final. After their four goal win in France, Zvezda have a good chance to follow Rostov-Don who are almost through after their 13-goal win against Buxtehude.
1130 spectators in the Du Bois Joly in French Saran saw the first half ending in a 15:15 draw, but after the break did the visitors build up the four-goal lead which puts Zvezda in the driver's seat ahead of the return match in Zvenigorod next Sunday.
Two players, Manon Houette from Fleury and Liudmilla Postnova from Zvezda, scored nine goals each.
Photos: Nidaros Photo / Robert Magnussen
TEXT: Peter Bruun / ts
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