All hosts make their way to the finalsArticle
«Go back

VELUX EHF Champions League qualification with nearly no surprises on the first day

»EHF CL Channel »2012-13 Men's News

All hosts make their way to the finals

All hosts - Belgrade, Haslum, Constanta and Saint Raphael - have reached the final matches of the three qualification and one wildcard tournaments of the VELUX EHF Champions League by winning their semis on Saturday. Besides, host Dinamo Minsk have won the first play-off match against Istanbul clearly.

Only the five winners of the tournaments and play-off match qualify for the Group Stage of the VELUX EHF Champions League.

Group 1 in Belgrade/SRB

Belgrade and Sloga Doboj (BIH) face in the neighbour’s final of this tournament.

Semi-finals on Saturday:

RK Partizan (SRB) vs. Porto Vitalis (POR) 27:25 (14:13)

Thanks to a strong final five minutes, Partizan Beograd have the chance to proceed to the Group Stage of the VELUX EHF Champions League. As their opponent from Portugal did not score any goal in this period, Partizan decided the game in a great catch-up chase. 2000 spectators cheered for the host of this tournament. Top scorers for Beograd were Mitrovic and Kostandinovic with five goals each, as Moreira hit the net seven times for Porto.

The Serbs had problems to break through the Portuguese defence initially and were not able to outdistance their opponent earlier in the second half. In contrast, Porto first brigded the four goals gap and then even took the lead at 24:23, before Partizan coach Alexander Brkovic took his time-out. Five minutes before the end the score was leveled at 25:25, before two late goals of Mitrovic and Ivosevic decided the game.

RK Sloga (BIH) vs. HC Lovcen (MNE) 25:23 (13:10)

The Bosnian team dominated the whole 60 minutes and did not give the lead from their hands throughout the whole game in this Ex-Yugoslav duel. In the end the 15 saves of goalkeeper Dejanovic and the seven goals of their top scorer Peric decided the encounter. Markovic scored eight times for Lovcen.

Final day on Sunday:

3-4 placement match: 17:00 hrs local time: Porto Vitalis (POR) - HC Lovcen (MNE)

Final: 19:30 hrs local time:  RK Partizan (SRB) - RK Sloga (BIH)

Group 2 in Rykkin/NOR

Like in the 2011/12 qualification host Haslum and Metalurg Skopje face in the final of this tournament – last year the Macedonians had the better end.

Semi-finals on Saturday:

HC Metalurg (MKD) vs. Alpha HC Hard (AUT) 25:19 (10:5)

Last season’s VELUX EHF Champions League quarterfinalist Metalurg had not a slice of a problem to reach the final of the qualification tournament. The Macedonians turned on the winner’s way very early, overrunning the Austrian champions by a 10:3 starting series thanks to their brilliant defence and counter-attacks. So Skopje could reduce the speed early, saving power for tomorrows final against Haslum – the re-match of last season’s qualification final. Hard came closer but never was close to endanger the Macedonians.

Haslum HK (NOR) vs. HC Dinamo Poltava (UKR) 29:27 (24:24, 9:13) after extra-time

Lucky, but deserved home victory for Haslum in the second semifinal: The encounter against the Ukrainian champions was the most dramatic of all qualification tournaments. Due to an improvement after the break Haslum first equalized at regular time and then Sebastian Barthold secured the final berth by scoring the 29:27 two seconds before the end. In his debut for Haslum Norwegian international Kenneth Klev was one key for the tensioned success.

Final day on Sunday:

3-4 placement match: 14:00 hrs local time: Alpha HC Hard (AUT) vs. HC Dinamo Poltava (UKR)

Final: 16:30 hrs local time: Haslum HK (NOR) vs. HC Metalurg (MKD)

Group 3 in Constanta/ROU

Thanks to their clear and expected wins, Presov and Constanta play the final on Sunday.

Semi-finals on Saturday:

HCM Constanta (ROU) vs. SSV Loacher Bozen Südtirol (ITA) 33:22 (16:12)

Host Constanta made it – expectedly clear – to the final. Thanks to their top scorer Csepreghi and the clearly better individual and tactical skills the Romanians had no problems to outclass their Italian opponent. Though Bozen could cope with the more experienced players of Constanta only until the break, the second half was decided very early. Turkovic was the best scorer for the Italians with six goals.

TATRAN Presov (SVK) vs. Maccabi Srugo Rishon Le Zion (ISR) 36:20 (11:8)

The Slovakian champions Presov needed some tome to adapt to Maccabi, but after the break they took a clear and easily earned victory to reach the final against the host. After a clear 7:2 lead the Slovaks lost their pace, allowing the Israel team to take the lead at 8:7, but then decided the match after the break. From 17:11 Presov extended the margin to double-figures in only eleven minutes at 27:17.

Final day on Sunday:

3-4 placement match: 18:00 hrs local time: SSV Loacher Bozen Südtirol (ITA) vs. Maccabi Srugo Rishon Le Zion (ISR)

Final: 20:30 hrs local time: HCM Constanta (ROU) vs. TATRAN Presov (SVK)

Wildcard Tournament in St. Raphael (FRA)

Hamburg and host Saint-Raphael face in the final duel of the wildcard tournament.

Semi-finals on Saturday:

HSV Hamburg (GER) vs. Orlen Wisla Plock (POL) 28:26 (15:16)

It was tough and tight challenge for the three time VELUX EHF Champions League semifinalist to reach the final of the qualification tournament. Hamburg needed a clear improvement after the break to break the Polish resistance.

Top scorer was unstoppable Valentin Ghionea, who scored 11 times for Plock, Hans Lindberg hit the net six times (all by penalty goals) for the Germans, who started better and led 7:3, before the Polish runners-up started their engines and led at the break.

But from the start of the second half HSV took over the control, extended the margin intermediately to 24:20, but still did not achieve an early decision. Plock fought hard, reduced to 23:25, before two straight goals sealed the deal for Hamburg. Best Plock player was Croatian goalkeeper Marin Sego, who saved 13 shots.

Saint-Raphael Var Handball (FRA) vs. Cimos Koper (SLO) 28:23 (13:13)

Even ten goals of top scorer Matjaz Brumen were not enough for Cimos Koper to qualify for the final. After Saint-Raphael had had the better start, Koper equalized at the break. But with four straight goals to 17:13 the French host rode the winner’s way leaving the Slovenians behind until the final buzzer. Caucheteux was Saint-Raphael’s top scorer with six goals.

Final day on Sunday:

3-4 placement match: 16:00 hrs local time: Orlen Wisla Plock (POL) vs. Cimos Koper (SLO)

Final: 19:00 hrs local time: HSV Hamburg (GER) vs. Saint-Raphael Var Handball (FRA)

Play-off matches in Minsk/BLR

First leg: Besiktas JK (TUR) vs. HC Dinamo Minsk (BLR) 22:30 (9:15)

The gate to the Group Stage is widely open for Dinamo Minsk. After their last season’s absence from the VELUX EHF Champions League Group Stage the Belorussians demolished their opponent in the first of two play-offs. The six goal margin at the break did not even reflect the dominance of Minsk. After the break the more powerful hosts forged ahead easily and double-figured the result at 25:15 for the first time. Minsk goalkeeper Peyanovich was the tower of power in the host’s defence.

Second leg: Sunday, 16:00 hrs local time: HC Dinamo Minsk (BLR) vs. Besiktas JK (TUR)


TEXT: Björn Pazen