27.03.2016, 11:34
Benfica, Fyllingen and Praha clinch last semi-final berths

ROUND REVIEW: The last three semi-finalists in the Men’s Challenge Cup come from Portugal, Norway and the Czech Republic.


Benfica, Fyllingen and Praha clinch last semi-final berths

Portugal will have two teams in the semi-finals of the Men’s Challenge Cup after ABC/UMinho qualified last weekend and S.L. Benfica followed them on Saturday.

Benfica took a four-goal lead with them to Russia after their 24:20 win in the first leg against St. Petersburg HC, and St. Petersburg could not close that difference despite support from 2,500 spectators in the Sibur Arena. The home side were leading 14:11 at half-time, but despite holding on to a two-goal advantage at 49:47 at the final whistle, Benfica were the ones to celebrate the semi-final berth.

Dmitrii Kiselev scored six goals for St. Petersburg, while Ales Silva, Javier Fernandez and Uelington Ferreira all scored five for Benfica.

In the semi-final, Benfica will be up against FyllingenBergen. The team from Norway’s second largest city were leading by 11 goal before their visit to the Netherlands for the second meeting with FIQAS Aalsmeer, so the Norwegian side could live with a 24:28 defeat and still qualify for the semi-final with a seven-goal margin.

Fyllingen were leading 15:10 at half-time, but invited the hosts into the game after the break, though never enough to endanger their win.

“We decided to try to take the initiative from the start, and we succeeded very well with that. We came here to secure our spot in the semi-final, and that was never in danger,” Fyllingen coach Erlend Aam told the club’s website.

HC Dukla Praha were the fourth team to reach the semi-finals, where their opponents will be ABC/UMinho, who will have the home advantage in the first leg.

Dukla recorded a 27:27 draw in the first match in Belgium against KV Sasja HC, and left no doubt with a 29:23 win in the return match at home.

After a relatively close first half, which Dukla won 12:10, the home team increased their lead steadily after the break, with eight goals being the largest distance and the score board showing a six-goal win for the hosts.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / cg


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