Odorhei take first European title in first final
In their first European final, Handball club Odorhei secured their first European title by turning a four-goal deficit from the first leg against Liberty Seguros ABC/UMinho into a three-goal aggregate win.
Men’s Challenge Cup Final, Leg 2
Handball club Odorhei (ROU) vs Liberty Seguros ABC/UMinho (POR) 32:25 (18:15)
First leg 28:32. Agg. 60:57 win for Odorhei
A strong second half gave Handball club Odorhei their first European title, defeating Liberty Seguros 32:25 at home in the second leg of the Men's Challenge Cup final.
Liberty were leading by four goals after the first leg, but a convincing performance in the last 30 minutes by Odorhei turned the tide completely.
1,560 enthusiastic spectators in the Sala Sporturilor HC Odorheiu Secuiesc saw a relatively even first half, which Odorhei won by three goals.
However, the home team got off to a far better start to the remaining 30 minutes as they went from 19:16 to 23:16 early in the half. This lead was increased to eight goals at 28:20 with nine minutes left and to nine goals at 29:20 two minutes later, and with this the match was as good as decided.
As the second half progressed, it became easier and easier for Odorhei to play around the visitors’ 5-1 defence, and they left no doubt in people’s minds about the outcome.
While the win was the first triumph for Odorhei, it was Liberty’s third European final without a trophy.
Odorhei’s right wing Andrei Mihalcea was top scorer with nine goals, while left back Nuno Pereira scored six times for Liberty.
Despite the good performances, neither of those became top scorer of the tournament, though.
That honour went to Georgian left back Vladimir Rusia from Odorhei. His four goals this Sunday increased his tally to 54 goals in the Men's Challenge Cup this season.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / bc