REVIEW: Defending champions Ekaterinodar and Kongsberg have already confirmed their spots in the knockout stage, while some teams will have to wait for Saturday to grab their last chance
Majority of quarter-finalists at Champions Cup already confirmed
The words of Ekaterinodar's star player Roman Kalashnikov have obviously echoed in his teammates' ears.
“We cannot relax at all. You can be first in the group and then lose in the quarter-finals and you are left empty-handed,” he had said ahead of the tournament, and after Day 2 at the EHF Champions Cup has come to an end, it is certain they have not relaxed at all.
After having won their first two matches on Thursday, the defending champions added another two wins - 2:0 against HEI Skaering and 2:0 against Pallamano Grosseto - on Friday to bring their tally to four wins from four and qualify for the event's quarter-finals.
All they have to make sure now, is that Kalashnikov's second part of the quote does not become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Also already in the quarter-final from Group A in the men's event are Lloret Beach Espana and HEI Skaering. The fourth place will be decided on Saturday morning when Pallamano Grosseto face BHT Auto Forum Petra Plock.
In Group B Detono Zagreb and Club BM Playa Ciudad de Malaga have definitely reached the knockout stage; Team Sweden and OS Gordos / Aposta Ganha have one foot in the door with four points from two matches, but BC Sand Devils Minden could turn it into three-way tie if they beat Gordos 2:0 on Saturday morning.
Kongsberg and Beach Girls battle for top spot
Just like Ekaterinodar, the women's defending champions, Skrim Kongsberg, are still in the mix and have comfortably qualified for the quarter-final.
Friday saw the Norwegian team winning their two matches which turns Saturday's match against OVB-Beach Girls in a battle for the top spot in Group A.
The Hungarian 'Beach Girls' have not lost a game yet, while Kongsberg are on six points after four matches.
The Beachqueens have a small chance left of qualifying for the quarter-final should they beat BHC Dubrava from Croatia.
The situation is similar in Group B: BHT Piotrkowianin Juko Piotrków Trybunalski and Multichem Szentendrei are definitely through, while Detono Zagreb hope for their last chance in Saturday's match against Brüder Ismaning.
The final group matches are played on Saturday morning and are followed by the quarter-finals in the afternoon. Fans can follow all matches live on the official website or with the newly designed live ticker.
TEXT: EHF / ts
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