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Nærbø and Baia Mare seek early advantage

EHF / Sergey Nikolaev

A week after the women’s competition ended with Rocasa Gran Canaria winning an exciting all-Spanish final, the men are ready for the conclusion of their European Cup 2021/22 season as the first leg of the Norwegian-Romanian final between Nærbø IL and CS Minaur Baia Mare is scheduled for Saturday in Stavanger.

Both teams will strive for a favourable result ahead of the decisive return leg in Baia Mare on Saturday 28 May.

FINAL, FIRST LEG

Nærbø IL (NOR) vs CS Minaur Baia Mare (ROU)
Saturday 21 May, 17:00 CEST, live on EHFTV

  • while Nærbø are playing their debut season in Europe, Baia Mare reached the quarter-finals of the European Cup last year and even played a season in the EHF Champions League
  • in the semi-final, Nærbø beat fellow Norwegian side Drammen HK in a penalty shootout after both sides exchanged 30:27 home wins
  • Baia Mare defeated Sweden’s Alingsås HK 62:59 on aggregate
  • the two finalists strongly rely on their home strength, as both have lost the last three away matches they played in the competition
  • Nærbø have already met a Romanian side in the current competition, beating CSM Focsani 2007 in the Last 16 (67:58 on aggregate)
  • on Wednesday, Nærbø lost the best-of-five series following a third straight defeat against Elverum Handball in the semi-final of the Norwegian league
  • on the same day, Baia Mare defeated CSA Steaua 29:27 in the last round of the Romanian league and finished the season as runners-up to champions Dinamo Bucuresti

Nærbø in historic fairy tale

While Baia Mare have a lot of experience in European club competitions and even competed in the continental top-flight in 2015/16, newcomers Nærbø have turned their debut international season into an historic one. The team from a 7,000-inhabitant village in South-West Norway has made it all the way to the EHF European Cup Men final, and is heading to the 5,000-seater DNB Arena nearby Stavanger for the home leg in order to accommodate more spectators.

The Nordic team are yet to win any domestic titles in Norway, but are now on the brink of their maiden European triumph. And while Baia Mare will be regarded by many as the favourites to lift the trophy next week, Nærbø will give it their all to finish their fairy-tale run in the competition on a happy end.

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