PREVIEW: Slovenian champions RK Zagorje’s visit to Norway in one of no less than 10 double headers in the Women's EHF Cup
Slovenian surprise package enter Women's EHF Cup
Back in May, RK Zagorje upset women´s handball in Slovenia by winning the Slovenian championship ahead of RK Krim Mercator.
However, Krim are playing in the Women’s EHF Champions League, while Zagorje are entering the EHF Cup in Qualification Round 1.
The Slovenian champions are involved in one out of no less than 10 double headers this weekend, where the last teams for Round 2 will be found.
Zagorje visit Trondheim, Norway for two matches against Byasen.
The Norwegian side have been strengthened this season through the signing of Norwegian international Ida Alstad from Györ Audi ETO KC, while their team also contain another Olympic bronze medalist from Rio, back court player Emilie Hegh Arntzen.
The first leg takes place in the Trondheim Spektrum on Saturday evening and the return match the following afternoon.
However, the first match this weekend is being played already on Friday evening and is also taking place in Norway, the first leg between Tertnes Bergen and H.C. Holon from Israel.
The first match will take place in Haukelandshallen in Bergen, while the second leg on Saturday afternoon is set for Framohallen.
Another Israeli team is making a big trip across Europe this weekend.
Bnei Hertzelia, who have been in European competition every year since the 2006/07 season, are visiting VfL Oldenburg for a double header.
Both matches are set for the EWE Arena of Oldenburg, with the first leg being played on Saturday night and the return match the next day.
Last season, Galytchanka and Pogon Baltica Szczecin reached the third round of the EHF Cup.
This year, one of the two teams will have to leave European handball at the frst hurdle, as the Ukrainian and the Polish teams lock horns in this round.
Galytchanka are the hosts in the PS “Budivelnik” in Lviv on Saturday afternoon and again in the same venue Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, there are also second legs of ties which began last weekend, and one of the most intriguing takes place in Prague.
DHC Slavia Praha welcome Swedish side Skuru IK, who won the first leg 26:22.
This result gives the Czech team plenty of hope to reverse the result against last season’s runners-up in Sweden in Saturday’s return match at DHC Sport Hall SK Slavia Praha late Saturday afternoon.
“Closing a four-goal deficit is definitely not impossible. We will have a full hall cheering for us Saturday,” expects Slavia coach Ondrej Vaclavek.
“We won the last 10 minutes of the first leg 6:1, and that could be decisive for the second match,” found Skuru coach Patrik Svarvén.
The Scandinavian derby between Sweden’s Lugi HF and Nykøbing Falster HK from Denmark will also be decided this Sunday.
In the Scandlines Arena in Nykøbing in the far southeast of Denmark, Nykøbing Falster HK are defending a 25:23 lead from the first leg.
Elsewhere, the likelyhood of a close tie seems much lower in the match between Vistal Gdynia and Alba Fehérvar KC. The Polish side are chasing an 11-goal deficit after losing 28:17 in the first match in Hungary and will need something special on Sunday afternoon.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor
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