Leon in the Champions LeagueArticle
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The hosts win the Wild Card Tournament in front of Kadetten.

Leon in the Champions League

The Wild Card Tournament was a high level and tense competition. The hosts, Ademar Leon, secured a ticket in the Champions League group phase. The tournament was decided at the very last match between Leon and the German team TBV Lemgo.

The Spaniards had to win with a difference of at least five goals and they defeated Lemgo by ten (31:21).

Four Spanish teams are qualified for the group phase of the Champions League. Title holder Ciudad Real, Barcelona, Valladolid and Leon will be there for the upcoming season. Ademar will play in Group D against THW Kiel, FC Barcelona, KIF Kolding, Amicitia Zürich and Vardar Skopje. The FYR Macedonians come from the qualification tournament won on home court.

Lemgo coach, Markus Baur, was clearly disappointed with the performance of his team losing all three matches. On the other hand, the Swiss runner-up, Kadetten Schaffhausen, were the biggest surprise in Leon. Though experts expected a decision between Leon, Lemgo and Celje, Schaffhausen remained unbeaten. The Swiss have beaten Celje and Lemgo and drew with Leon.

With the same number of points as Leon, the goal difference had to decide. Leon won the encounter by +11 to +5.

The first two days saw especially close games. All the matches ended with a goal difference of one goal or a draw. As Lemgo were eliminated after two defeats, the last day had to decide the winner.

Schaffhausen have beaten Celje 31:27 and had to wait and hope for a good result of the last match. But as Leon were leading 16:10 at the break and increased the gap to a decisive 21:13, the fans went crazy. They knew that their team would qualify for the Champions League and the three opponents for the EHF cup.

The tournament was a success, not only because of the high class matches, but also because of the full arena in Leon. In total more than 7,000 spectators attended the matches this weekend.

TEXT: Björn Pazen