Many with one foot in the door, but only Hlohovec throughArticle
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ROUND REVIEW: 32 teams took part in Round 2 of the Men’s EHF Cup, with one team through after a double header in Slovakia
»2013-14 Men's News

Many with one foot in the door, but only Hlohovec through

17 matches were played in the Men’s EHF Cup Round 2 over the weekend, with eight teams waiting to play both first and second leg games next weekend.

HC Sporta Hlohovec from Slovakia were the first side to book their place in the next round, thanks to a comprehensive aggregate victory over Banja Luka. The Slovakians powered past their Bosnian opponents in the first leg 36:23 and left themselves with very little to do the following day, as they ran out 27:26 winners and 63:49 overall.

In the other 15 first leg ties, eight appear to be all but over after clear victories.

The biggest winner was Skjern Handbold, who tore through Czech side HBC Ronal Jicin 38:21 away from home. The result was never in doubt with the Danes taking a 21:10 half-time lead and took the victory thanks to eight goals from right wing Rene Toft Rasmussen.

IFK Kristianstad were also healthy winners against last season’s Challenge Cup finalists Handball Esch in front of over 4,000 home fans.

The Swedes have made the second leg a mere formality after the 32:19 win and it looks like Esch are going out of Europe at the hands of a Swedish team once again, After losing their VELUX EHF Champions League qualification play-off against DROTT Halmstad earlier this season.

Mors-Thy Handbold came out on top in the Scandinavian derby against Norwegian side Fyllingen Bergen. After a close first half, with the scored tied at 10:10, the Danes completely outscored the away side 16:8 in the second half and took a good lead into the return leg on 20 October.

Kasper Kvist and Finnish centre back Jac Karlsson led the way to the 26:18 win with five goals each, while Harald Reinkind scored six for Fyllingen.

Last season’s finalists HBC Nantes got their campaign off to a strong start with a hard fought 15:22 victory in Belgrade. Valero Rivera was the key man for the French side, as his nine goals helped to down last season’s VELUX EHF Champions League participants in a low scoring affair.

Other teams with big wins were Meshkov Brest, Stiinta Bacau, Porec and Portuguese duo S.L. Benfica and Sporting CP.

Too close to call

There were three draws over the weekend: Besiktas vs Pfadi Winterthur (29:29), Lugi vs Grundfos Tatabanya (27:27) and Maccabi Tel Aviv vs HC Zomimak-M (26:26). The sides will have to start from scratch when they meet in the second leg next weekend.

It’s all to play for between six more teams, after narrow home wins for Csurgo (30:27 over BM Aragon), RK Nexe (26:22 against Diomidis Argous) and Bregenz (26:25 against Maribor Branik).

19 and 20 October also sees both legs being played in four Round 2 ties: SKA Minsk vs OIF Arendal in Norway, Kadetten Schaffhausen vs Portovik in Switzerland, Chambery vs Ankara Spor in France and HC Kaustik vs Caras Severin in Russia.

TEXT: EHF / cor