Women's Challenge Cup defending champions virtually in quarter-finals
ROUND REVIEW: After a 13-goal away win in Slovenia, Rocasa Gran Canaria are practically already in the quarter-final of the Women's Challenge Cup, Virto/Quintus are confirmed, CZE, CRO, SWE and ESP sides expected to go through after second legs.
Women’s Challenge Cup defending champions virtually in quarter-final
Women’s Challenge Cup – Last 16
Saturday 4 February
DHC Sokol Poruba (CZE) vs KHF Shqipona (KOS) 51:18
HC Lokomotiva Zagreb (CRO) vs Ardesen GSK (TUR) 33:25
Haukar (ISL) vs Virto/Quintus (NED) 26:29
ZRK Mlinotest Ajdovscnia (SLO) vs Rocasa Gran Canaria ACE (ESP) 18:31
Sunday 5 February
H 65 Höörs HK (SWE) VS HC Vardar SCJS (MKD) 26:13
Virto / Quintus (NED) VS Haukar (ISL) 22:24 (51:50 on aggregate)
Colegio de Gaia (POR) VS Mecalia Atletico Guardes (ESP) 26:30
All results for the last 16 can be found HERE
Reigning champions poised for quarter-finals
Ruling Women’s Challenge Cup champions Rocasa Gran Canaria ACE are practically in the quarter-final already before the second leg of the Last 16 throws-off next weekend after having a great Saturday in Slovenia, beating their opponents ZRK Mlinotest Ajdovscina clearly, 31:18.
Right back Almudena Rodriguez scored nine goals in the SRC Police Ajdovscina hall where the big Spanish win practically reduced the second leg in Gran Canaria on Saturday to a formality.
Czech side notch up 33-goal win
The return match should also be a formality for DHC Sokol Poruba who will go to Kosovo for the away game against KHF Shqipona without much fear of being eliminated.
In their home match in Ostrava, Sokol Poruba won the first leg 51:18, up no less than 27:8 already at half-time. Slovakian left wing Maria Revajova enjoyed the match in particular, scoring 11 goals.
65 Höörs HK complete trio of teams close to the next round
The Swedish side, who won the tournament in 2014, defeated Macedonians HC Vardar SCJS 26:13 at home on Sunday afternoon and will probably not fear the return game in Skopje next Sunday.
“We were physically stronger and faster and should have won even bigger,” said Höör coach Ola Månsson. “A 13-goal lead before the return match is good enough [to qualify].”
With 12 goals, left back Larissa Kalaus made her contribution to Lokomotiva Zagreb also having a good reason to dream of the quarter-finals. The Croatian team won their home match against Turkish side Ardesen GSK 33:25 despite only being up 13:12 at the break.
Double Spanish delight
Spain have a good chance to get two teams among the eight quarter-finalists, as Mecalia Atletico Guardes are on their way to follow Rocasa to the next round.
Mecalia won their first leg away against Portuguese Colegio de Gaia 30:26 and are heading for the quarter-finals.
Netherlands side confirmed in last eight
One side 100% in the quarter-finals is Virto / Quintus from the Netherlands. Their weekend double-header in Iceland at the Ithrottamidstod Hauka in Hafnarfjordur saw a three-goal victory for the Dutch side in their ‘away’ leg, 29:26 and a 24:22 win in their ‘home’ match earlier today.
Unfortunately for the Icelanders, they were short of an overall victory, losing 51:50 on aggregate.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / amc