ROUND PREVIEW: Women's Challenge Cup has reached the semi-final phase. The first ticket to the final will be awarded on Sunday in Höör, Sweden.
First finalist to be found this weekend
The first finalist in the Women's Challenge Cup will be found this weekend already.
This will be the case, as PO SC Galychanka-Lviv from Ukraine are travelling to Sweden for a double header against H 65 Höör Saturday and Sunday.
The other semi-final tie is an all French affair, in which Issy Paris Hand have the home advantage in the first match against Union Mios Biganos-Begles Sunday afternoon.
PO SC Galychanka-Lviv (UKR) vs H 65 Höör (SWE)
H 65 Höör (SWE) vs PO SC Galychanka-Lviv (UKR)
Late in the afternoon Sunday, the first finalist in the Women's Challenge Cup will already be known.
Höör and Lviv are deciding their internal tie in a double header in Björkvikshallen in Höör Saturday and Sunday, where both teams will be striving to break new ground, as none of them has ever been in a European final.
Höör reached the semi-final of the Challenge Cup last year, while a semi-final is a new experience to the Ukrainian visitors.
Having the home advantage in both matches does not exactly suit Höör coach Niklas Harris all that well, though.
“We actually prefer to play one match at home and one away, when we play in Europe, but this time we are going to play both matches at home,” said the coach who expects two entertaining games.
“As both we and Galychanka play fast handball with good defences and strong goalkeepers, it should be four entertaining halves,” Niklas Harris said.
The two French teams have met each other four times this season already, so they will probably not be able to surprise each other much, when they meet again in the Palais des Sports in the Parisian suburb Tremblay Sunday afternoon.
However, there is no doubt which team has the upper hand after those four meetings, as Mios are still chasing their first win against the team from the capital.
They will obviously have to change this, if they want to go on dreaming about copying their Challenge Cup win from 2011.
“This is the fifth time we'll meet Issy-Paris this season, and we've never won so far. Against them, you have to reach excellence to beat them, they don't allow you any time to rest during the 60 minutes of the game,” Mios coach Manu Mayonnade told eurohandball.com.
“The coming two hours of handball against them are very exciting, because we'll have to play our best games of the season in order to reach the final. Collectively, they're very strong bunch of girls, they've known each other for some years now, and they keep on progressing, they keep on working.
We're a younger group, but having the return game at home, we'll do our best to come back from the first leg in the best position," Manu Mayonnade added.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / br
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