30.04.2016, 08:50
Benfica must finish the job, possible thriller in Prague

SEMI-FINAL PREVIEW: Benfica take 13 goal lead with them to Norway, while ABC/UMinho defend narrow one goal lead in Prague in the Challenge Cup.


Benfica must finish the job, possible thriller in Prague

Both Portuguese teams in the semi-finals of the Men´s Challenge Cup are in the lead ahead of the second leg, where both are playing away.
However, the conditions are very different, as S. L. Benfica are taking a 13 goal lead with them to Norway and the meeting with FyllingenBerge, while ABC/UMinho are only one goal up before visiting HC Dukla Praha.

Men's Challenge Cup, semi-final second leg:

FyllingenBergen (NOR) vs S. L. Benfica (POR)
Saturday 30 April 20:45 local time
First leg 22:35

After Benfica won the first match at home as big as 35:22, the return match in Framohallen in Norway´s second largest city Berge almost seems like a formality.

Benfica never gave the Norwegian side a chance to get into the match in Lisbon last weekend, and Fyllingen seem to have to hope for a miracle in order to turn the tables and book a ticket for the Challenge Cup final after all.

“I think we stand in an impossible position. We must take the match for what it is and try to get something out of it,” said a realistic Fyllingen coach Vidar Gjesdal.

“They may be better than us in the return match too, but I expect us to pick up the glove and appear better than we did in the first match,” Gjesdal added.

HC Dukla Praha (CZE) vs ABC/UMinho (POR)
Sunday 1 May, 18.00 local time
First leg 33:34

The conditions in this match differ considerably from the tie between FylllingenBergen and Benfica.

ABC are keen on reaching the Challenge Cup final for the second year in a row, but they will undoubtedly be facing a certain challenge defending their narrow one goal lead from the first match, when they enter the Arean Sparta in the Czech capital.

Before the first match, Dukla coach Jan Josef named ABC clear favourites, but the close affair in Portugal last weekend has led to increasing optimism in Dukla.

“In the first match, all our players definitely performed at their best”, Dukla´s sports director Daniel Curda tells eurohand-ball.com.

“We went into that match with the hope to be able to confront the very strong Braga team, and even though we lost by only one goal, we still realise that we will have to do our best once again at home Sunday in order to live out our dream to reach the final,” adds Daniel Curda.

TEXT: EHF / br


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