20.11.2014, 10:40
Race for the Last 16 starts in Bulgaria

ROUND PREVIEW: 32 teams all over Europe open the fight for the Last 16 of the Men's Challenge Cup this weekend.

Race for the Last 16 starts in Bulgaria

Rusalka in Dobrich, Bulgaria will be the venue of the very first match in Round 3 of the Men's Challenge Cup. On Friday at 17:30 local time, the local heroes from HC Dobrudja take on Ramat Hashron HC from Israel in the first leg of the double header between the two teams this weekend. The return match will be played in the same arena exactly 24 hours later.

The meeting between Dobrudja and Hashron is only one out of five double headers in the tournament this weekend.

Another one is taking place in Lisbon, where S. L. Benfica receive FyllingenBergen from Norway for two matches Saturday and Sunday.

FyllingenBergen have been in the EHF Champions League Group Phase once, in the 2009/10 season, while Benfica reached Qualification Round 3 of the EHF Cup last season, but this year, both teams are seeking their fortune in the Challenge Cup.

Just like FyllingenBergen, Red Boys Differdange have also been flirting with the Champions League, but their adventures in that tournament goes as far back as the years 1997-2000, when they reached the Last 32 three years in a row.

History maker

This weekend, the team from Luxembourg hosts a double header against Ankara II Özel Idare SK from Turkey, the first match in the Centre Sportif De Differdange being Saturday evening and the second leg the following night.

Belgium is also going to see Challenge Cup handball this weekend. In the Hall Omnisport de Vise, HC Vise BM are up against London based Ruislip Eagles. The first match between the Belgian team and the British outfit is taking place Saturday evening, and the second leg will follow Sunday afternoon.

Another British side in away action this weekend is Cambridge HC, who travel to Romania to challenge Handbal club Odorhei. When Cambridge wing player Carl Norman takes to the court on Saturday afternoon, he will become the oldest player to play in and EHF European Cup game at the age of 51. The second leg of that tie will take place a day later.

Two sides beaten by last season's eventual winners IK Sävehof face-off this weekend. The first leg between finalists RK Metaloplastika Sabac and semi-finalsts KS Azoty-Pulawy will take place in Serbia on Saturday, before the return game a week later in Poland.

See all fixtures from Round 3 of the Men's Challenge Cup.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / br

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