Barcelona, Berlin, Leon and Madrid through to quarter-finalsArticle
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Montpellier outclassed in Palau Blaugrana, HSV and Veszprem eliminated - and a sensational Kadetten victory are the Sunday’s results of the Last 16.

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Barcelona, Berlin, Leon and Madrid through to Quarterfinals

Two debutants and all VELUX EHF Champions League winners since 2005 are part of the Quarterfinals of the “king’s class” in this season. After THW Kiel, RK Croatia Osiguranje Zagreb, AG Kobenhavn and RK Cimos Koper had made their way to the next stage before, on Sunday Füchse Berlin, FC Barcelona Intersport, Reale Ademar Leon and Atletico Madrid qualified for the round of the eight best teams.

Compared to the 2010/2011 VELUX EHF Champions League Quarterfinals only three of those eight  teams are in the Pots for the draw again: Kiel, Barcelona and Madrid (formerly known as Ciudad Real).

On Sunday big names like HSV Hamburg, MKB Veszprem or Montpellier Agglomeration (outclassed in Barcelona) failed on their way, leading to the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne (26/27 May).

But two VELUX EHF Champions League debutants will fight for their ticket to Cologne: AG Kopenhavn from Denmark and Füchse Berlin from Germany. Aside RK Cimos Koper had never been part of the EHF Champions League Quarterfinals before.

Except Hamburg all three winners of the Group Stage (Barcelona, Kiel, Madrid) made their way to the next stage, whilst Berlin is the only fourth ranked club among those eight teams after winning the All-German duel.

Aside three second ranked teams (Kobenhavn, Koper and Zagreb) have qualified, the only team ranked third after the Group Stage among those teams is Ademar Leon after eliminating Veszprem with a last minute goal.

The composition of the Pots for the Quarterfinal draw on Tuesday (11:30 hrs local time, live stream on

Pot 1: FC Barcelona Intersport, THW Kiel, Atletico Madrid, Füchse Berlin

Pot 2: Reale Ademar Leon, AG Kobenhavn, RK Cimos Koper, RK Croatia Osiguranje Zagreb.

Last 16 of the VELUX EHF Champions League, second leg:

HSV Hamburg (GER) vs. Füchse Berlin (GER) 23:24 (11:10)

First leg: 30:32

Füchse Berlin are the second VELUX EHF Champions debutant after AG Kobenhavn to qualify for this season’s Quarterfinals. After their 32:30 victory in the first leg of the Last 16 they also took the away points in this All-German duel. In contrast it is the first ever failure of HSV Hamburg in the Last 16 in the VELUX EHF Champions League history after reaching the Quarterfinals four straight times and even being three times in the semis.

For Füchse this victory means the biggest ever success in their club history – and they have to thank their incredible goalkeeper Silvio Heinevetter, who pulled the teeth of the HSV strikers. Like in the first leg this game was a really full-fighting thriller. 7843 spectators saw close and nail-biting 60 minutes.

Füchse were in lead 10:8 after 27 minutes, but thanks to some saves of their goalkeeper Dan Beutler HSV took a close 11:10 lead to the dressing rooms – and even extended the gap to 14:10 in minute 35. The HSV fans went crazy when their team seemed to be on the winner’s way 20 minutes before the final buzzer, leading 17:12. But then Füchse took control more and more – and it only took ten more minutes to grab back the lead, which they did not give from their hands until end – despite a man-to-man defence of the hosts.

Top scorers were Lindberg with four goals for HSV and Christopherssen, Petersson, Bult, Pewnow and Richwien, who each scored four goals for Berlin.

Statements after the match:

Martin Schwalb, coach HSV Hamburg: We should recognize that Berlin was the better team in both matches and deserved to proceed. We are eliminated in one competition now, but we will fight in all others to be successful.

Dagur Sigurdsson,coach Füchse Berlin: We are overwhelmed about this big thing. We were faithful to have a chance in Hamburg, and we showed a great team spirit and character, when we were intermediately down with five goals.

Atletico Madrid (ESP) vs. Kadetten Schaffhausen (SUI) 26:30 (14:14)

First leg: 36:27

Big sensation in Madrid – but with no impact for the hosts: Swiss champions Schaffhausen took the points from the Palacio Vistalegre, but the distance from the first leg was too huge to reach the Quarterfinals for the first time in their club’s history. For the Spaniards, who could not cope with the guests due to some injuries, the berth for the Quarterfinals means the eighth straight time to be among the top 8 teams of the EHF Champions League.

Three days after losing their league match against St. Gallen, Kadetten showed one of the best performances in their club’s history and led intermediately with a seven goal margin.

Despite the defeat the host had the better start and led 5:1 – but this was the wake-up call for Kadetten, who turned the game in the upcoming 13 minutes to a 10:6. As two players of the Swiss champions had been suspended for two minutes, Madrid caught up again, led and leveled the game at the break.

In minute 38 the score was still +1 for Madrid, before the Swiss express started – and suddenly the favoured hosts were below 23:30. But in the last 15 minutes Madrid improved again, could not take the points – but having in mind that a defeat with eight goals still would have meant the berth for the Quarterfinals. Top scorer was Graubner with six goals for Kadetten.

Statements after the match:

Peter Hrachovec, coach Kadetten: We played well, fought hard and showed that we did not come to Madrid as tourists, but showed strength and character.

Talant Dushebajew, coach Madrid: We are sad after losing this game, but we managed to reach our objective. We should forget very fast what had happened today.

FC Barcelona Intersport (ESP) vs. Montpellier Agglomeration (FRA) 36:20 (17:8)

First leg: 28:30

Defending champions FC Barcelona Intersport are back on track on they unstoppable way to the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne: After the close away defeat in Montpellier last Sunday the Catalans showed their real face and strength against the poor French champions, who missed the VELUX EHF FINAL4 again, this time even a Round earlier than in the previous two seasons.

For the Catalans the berth for the Quarterfinals means the 13th time to be among the top 8 eight teams of this competition. After the 28:30 in the first leg no one could expect that this duel of the titans would end in the largest of all distances from all eight Last 16 encounters.

It was a magic evening for the hosts, who showed an incredibly strong defence performance – despite seven goals of Montpellier top scorer Ivan Gajic. The game started exactly the in the opposite direction as one week before –this time Barcelona played absolute dominant and led 10:3. Especially team captain Laszlo Nagy took the responsibility for his team, scoring in total six goals. On the other side Nikola Karabatic desperately tried hard to break through the Barca wall, but failed most of the time.

After the break Montpellier resigned completely, whilst Barca goalkeeper Danijel Saric saved an incredible series of shots. The host extended the gap to ten goals at 24:14 for the first time and to 16 goals in the end, overdriving the French with their sharp and fast counter attacks. Sarmiento and Nagy were Barcelona’s top scorers with each six goals.

MKB Veszprem (HUN) vs. Reale Ademar Leon (ESP) 27:25 (16:12)

First leg: 28:31

Rafael Baena shocked MKB Veszprem and made Reale Ademar Leon jump for joy: His last second goal  - his one and only in the whole game - to the final score of 27:25 brought Leon the berth for the Quarterfinals of the VELUX EHF Champions League. Losing 24:27 would have meant the elimination for the Spaniards. With the same goal difference after two matches, Veszprem would have been the lucky winner thanks to the greater number of away goals (28 compared to 24). But then Baena hit the back of the net closely after a shot of Carlos Perez was blocked.

After ten years Leon is back in the Quarterfinals of the EHF Champions League – for the fourth time in club’s history. On the other hand MKB Veszprem failed again against a Spanish team – for the fourth straight time. In 2009 they were eliminated by Ciudad Real in the Quarterfinals, 2010 (Quarterfinals) and 2011 (Last 16) they failed against FC Barcelona Intersport.

Veszprem was in lead nearly the whole match and it took only ten minutes when at the score of 6:3 the three goals disadvantage from the first leg was equalized. But after the half time score 16:12, Veszprem had problems in attack, Leon scored five consecutive goals and took the lead for the first time at 17:16.

The match remained on an absolute equal level. After the 21:22 Veszprem scored a 6:1series – and was mathematically in the Quarterfinals again at 26:23 in minute 55. But the 27:24 of Gabor Csaszar was not enough to proceed, as Baena hit the net, too. Top scorers were Vujin (Veszprem) with eight goals and Stranovsky and Garcia (both Leon) with six goals.

Statements after the match:

Lajoc Mocsai, coach Veszprem: A three goal difference would have been enough, but now I have to congratulate Leon. Our performance was not stable enough to qualify for the Quarterfinals. In the last two minutes we made some fatal errors. I feel sorry, for what had happened.

Isidoro Martinez, coach Leon: We are glad to be part of this historic result. We were the lucky ones in a spectacular match.

TEXT: Björn Pazen