PREVIEW: They have lost two European finals in over time, but Liberty Seguros have a good chance of finally lifting a trophy this year.
Liberty Seguros going for third time lucky
Liberty Seguros ABC/UMinho are close to proving that the third time is indeed a charm ahead of the second leg of the Men’s Challenge Cup Final against Handball club Odorhei on Sunday. The deciding match can be watched live and free on ehfTV.com.
Having lost the EHF Champions League Final in 1994 and the Challenge Cup Final in 2005, a four-goal lead after the first leg of this season’s final allows the Portuguese club to hope for a triumph this time.
Men’s Challenge Cup Final, Leg 2
Though Liberty Seguros won the home leg of the final, the result far from guarantees an overall victory.
“A result of 32:28 is, of course, a favourable result. In the second game, we will have to be aware – on the one hand of our opponent, but on the other, of the quality we have,” Liberty coach Carlos Resende tells eurohandball.com.
“I’m expecting a second victory, even on our opponents’ home court. To achieve that, we will have to solve some defensive mistakes from the first game, and improve some aspects of our shots on goal.”
But Odorhei coach Vlad Caba thinks Liberty should not expect a win in Romania.
“We are facing a very special match because it is the first European final in our club history. After 10 years of existence, we are honoured to play with the Challenge trophy on the table.
“No doubt the supporters are proud of this team, whose evolution they have been witnessing from year to year,” says the Odorhei coach.
“We expect a very difficult game against a good, ambitious and dynamic team that created problems for us in Braga. We lost the first leg, but I’m convinced that we can play better at home, showing our real face, and making a great match. We can win by more than four goals, and this would take the trophy.
“The team needs the encouragement of its supporters more than ever – the opponent must feel that HC Odorhei is a team comprised of not only players, but also its fans,” concludes Caba.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / cg
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