ROUND PREVIEW: Women's EHF Cup winners from two years ago, Team Tvis Holstebro meeting last year's Challenge Cup finalist in quarter-final.
2013 winners trying to take further step
In the 2012/13 season, Team Tvis Holstebro went all the way and won the Women's EHF Cup. This season, the current number three in the Danish league have made it to the quarter-finals of the tournament after having eliminated last year's winners Handball Club Lada in the Last 16.
Holstebro's opponents in the quarter-finals are Issy Paris Hand who reached the final of the Challenge Cup last season, where Swedish Höör turned out to be too much of a handful.
Holstebro can enter the Graakjaer Arena with a good deal of self-confidence for the home match on Sunday night. On Thursday night, they won 30:27 away against Danish champions and Women's EHF Champions League participants Viborg in the Danish league.
Another Danish team, Team Esbjerg reached the final in the tournament last season, only to lose against Lada. This year, the current number one in the Danish league cannot run into the Russian team, as Holstebro sent them out in the Last 16.
However, Esbjerg's opponent already in the quarter-finals will be tough enough, as Hungarian Érd HC are visiting Esbjerg Stadionhal for the first leg on Sunday afternoon.
Hungarian opposition is no new experience to the team from the Danish west coast. Last season, head coach Lars Frederiksen's girls were involved in a thriller against Fehérvár KC in the semi-finals, where only away goals sent the Danish team to the final. Esbjerg would not mind a clearer decision this time.
Last season, Buxtehuder SV reached the quarter-final of the Cup Winners' Cup, while the Last 16 has been the furthest, the German team has been in the EHF Cup before.
On Sunday afternoon, however, they are taking on Muratpasa Belediye SK in the Schulzentrum Hansestrasse in Buxtehude for the first leg of the quarter-final.
While Buxtehude were in the quarter-finals of the Cup Winners' Cup last year, their Turkish visitors celebrated their greatest European triumphs so far in 2011 and 2012, as they won the Challenge Cup both years. It is the first time they have made it this far in the EHF Cup.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / br
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