NEWS REPORT: One second ranked team will draw the short straw after the last round of the EHF Cup Group Phase
Seven points minimum to clinch quarter-final berth
While Füchse Berlin and Montpellier Agglomeration HB have already secured their survival in the EHF Cup even after the end of the group phase, seven more teams are still involved in the race for five remaining quarter-final tickets.
After Füchse as the hosts of the EHF Cup Finals clinched their place directly at the final tournament, there will be only three quarter-finals played and before the last round it is clear that seven points will be minimum amount to reach the next stage. But in some situations even eight points might not be enough …
Change compared to last season
Compared to the regulations of the last season, when only the matches against the group winners and third ranked teams were counted in the standings of the second placed teams, this time all group matches of the second teams will be considered in the ranking.
The worst side will draw the shortest straw and will not make it to the quarter-finals.
Should two or more teams in this ranking have the same number of points, the next criteria will be the goal difference followed by the higher number of scored goals.
There are still too many ifs and thens and numerous combinations of how last results in the group phase will pan out, but let us have a quick look at the current situation.
Overview of all possible second place finishers:
red - team is already out of the quarter-final race
blue - team has already qualified for quarter-finals
Thanks to the home victory over Lugi combined with a Csurgo’s loss at Hannover in the last round Ademar Leon can still finish second in Group A, but their possible 6 points would not be enough for a top three finish in the second placed teams standing as no other second team can finish with fewer than seven points. Both Lugi and Csurgo can become either group winners or rank second.
Group B: Sporting’s berth all but clear
The Portuguese side can lose their quarter-final place only if they suffer a heavy defeat at Montpellier as they have eight points and a massive +35 goal difference. Montpellier can still finish second, but one other second ranked team can gain 10 points.
Group C: Both Nantes and Szeged almost through
For both teams from the upper half of Group C the situation is very optimistic. Szeged are heavy favourites in their last home match against Kristianstad and a win would give them 10 points, thus a quarter-final place. Nantes are in a comfortable position too and even if they lose at Presov by a few goals as they have eight points and +23 goals difference.
Group D: Constanta vs Chambery showdown
Both rivals are virtually in a must-win situation as a draw will very probably prove as no good for their qualification math as they currently stand at only six points. If they really tie, it will depend on the final score as their reverse fixture ended up in a 29:29 draw and away goals will decide. In that case Chambery have to score 30 or more in order to leapfrog their adversaries. Another 29:29 draw would confirm Constanta at the second place as they have a better goal difference at all matches, what would be the next factor.
Find the last round schedule of matches here
TEXT: EHF / br
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