ROUND REVIEW: Three narrow decisions and an easy ride of Azoty in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals.
13 goals from Karamyshev not enough for ZTR
13 goals from Maksym Karamyshev were not enough for ZTR Zaporozhye, as their quarter-final against IK Sävehof in the Men's Challenge Cup was decided Saturday.
With a 31:29 win, the Swedish team qualified for the semi-final against KS “Azoty-Puawy” from Poland who eliminated United HC Tongeren from Belgium with 12 goals on aggregate.
The other semi-final will be between RK Metaloplastika Sabac from Serbia, who defeated Cocks from Finland with just one goal, and Aguas Santas-Milaneza from Portugal who sent HC Odorhei from Romania out through away goals. First semi-final leg is scheduled for 19/20 April, second leg will follow one week later.
After their nine goal win at home in the first leg, Pulawy were close to the semi-final already before going to Belgium for the second match.
And the Polish team made no doubt about the total outcome in the match in Eburons Dome in Tongeren Saturday night.
Already at half time were the visitors leading by six goals, and under these circumstances, they could live with having this lead limited to half of this at the end.
With a total win as clear as 12 goals, Pulawy march into the semi-final against Swedish IK Sävehof.
Not even 13 goals from Zaporozhye's left back Maksym Karamyshev was enough to qualify the Ukrainian team for the semi-final.
For security reasons, the tie was played as only one match in neutral ground in Lithuanian Klaipeda, where the Swedish team proceeded to the semi-final against Pulawy from Poland after a 31:29 win.
After an equal first half which ended in a 13:13 draw, Sävehof managed to establish a lead between two and four goals for most of the second half before winning by two.
“They (Zaporozhye) made use of their physical strength, and the pace was high compared to the Swedish Elitserien. As the match progresses, we manage to take a firmer grip on the match and win deservedly,” Sävehof coach Magnus Johansson told the Swedish Handball Federation´s website.
Through reaching the quarter-final of the Men's EHF Challenge Cup, Cocks from Riihimäki made it further in Europe than any other Finnish team has done before.
However, the quarter-final was as far as Cocks got, as they were sent out by a margin of only one goal after losing 26:19 away to Metaloplastika.
2,200 spectators in the Zorka in Sabac saw a match with two red cards – for Milos Mitrovic from Metaloplastika and Kristian Jansson from Cocks – and a match in which the home team was leading by three already at half time, and increase the lead to exactly the necessary distance in the second half.
In the semi-final, Metaloplastika will meet Aguas Santas-Milaneza from Portugal.
1,100 spectators in Aguas Santas could celebrate their local heroes' entry in the Challenge Cup semi-final with the narrowest possible margin.
Having scored one away goal more than their Romanian adversaries, Aguas Santas-Milaneza clinched their semi-final berth.
After Odorhei had won the first leg at home last weekend 31:28, it only took the Portuguese team one half in the return match to catch up with the three goal deficit, as they were leading by three already at half-time.
Three goals was also the distance when the final whistle sounded, and Aguas Santas-Milaneza could celebrate due to the rule of away goals.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / br
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