ROUND REVIEW: Two Portuguese, one Norwegian and one Romanian team in Men’s Challenge Cup semi-finals
Favourites finish the job
It turned out as expected in the three Challenge Cup quarter-finals, which already had the first leg played last weekend.
The three teams, who booked clear away wins in the first match, finished the job at home this weekend.
Handball club Odorhei were leading 26:18 against ZTR Zaporozhye after their visit to Ukraine, and after going down 13:9 at half-time in the return match in Romania, Odorhei managed to set things straight in the second half and please the 1,500 spectators by winning 22:20 to celebrate their semi-final berth.
There will be Portuguese opposition for Odorhei in semi-final.
S. L. Benfica lost 32:31 at home to KS Azoty-Pulawy, but the team from Lisbon could afford this narrow defeat after their 37:29 win in Poland last weekend.
Portugal will be represented by two teams in the semi-finals.
Liberty Seguros ABD/UMinho had formed a great basis through their 27:22 in Finland against Riihimäen Cocks, and in the return match at home, they gave the 1,200 spectators a far bigger win. After a relatively modest 19:15 lead at half-time, Liberty cruised to a 38:27 win after the break.
Their semi-final opponents will be the winner of the only double-header in the quarter-finals.
In Norway, Stord Handball received Ramat Hashron HC from Israel, and after a Norwegian 36:26 win in the first leg Friday, where left back Inge Aas Eriksen scored 12 goals, the return match Saturday was actually a formality, and Stord could afford the 26:24 defeat. 14 goals from the Serbian right back Obrad Radulovic did not help the visitors to make a dent into their heavy deficit.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor
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