Lugi chase the miracle in vainArticle
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MATCH REVIEW: HCM Constnta follow Füchse Berlin to the EHF Cup Finals despite a six-goal defeat in Sweden.

Lugi chase the miracle in vain

After their 31:21 home win in the first match at home, HCM Constanta could afford the 34:28 away defeat in Sweden against Lugi HF Saturday evening and still qualify for the EHF Cup Finals as the second team.

Despite the six goal distance at the end of the second leg, there was never really any doubt about the outcome. After Constanta had opened the match in Southern Sweden by taking a six goal lead, Lugi's finish, brave as it might seem, came way too late to chance the overall outcome.

Men's EHF Cup Quarter-final, second leg:
Lugi HF (SWE) vs HCM Constanta (ROU) 34:28 (14:13)
First leg 21:31. Aggregate 55:59

Lugi HF won the last 45 of the home game against HCM Constanta by 12 goals, but having lost the first 15 minutes 9:3, it was far from being enough to catch up with Constanta's ten goal lead from the first leg.

Alexandru Simicu started the second match in the same way as he left off in the first leg. In the first match in Romania, Constanta's left back scored ten goals, and in the return match in Lund he scored the first four goals, giving his team a 4:1 lead.

This lead was increased to 9:3 after a quarter of an hour, and the matter seemed to be decided, not least as the visitors got up 12:7 a little later. However, with five goals in succession, Lugi managed to equalise to 12:12, and at half time, the hosts had their first lead of the match, at 14:13.

This lead was increased to three goals during the first eight minutes of the second half, but as Constanta managed to catch up again at 19:19 two minutes later, it seemed to be the decision. Still, Lugi managed to increase to five goals with ten minutes left, but their Swedish finish came too later, and their six goal lead in the last minutes only had symbolic value.

“We played a good match, not least considering the fact that we were missing key players such as Magnus Jernemyr and Joacim Ernstsson. In the last 45 minutes we succeeded with our aggressive defence, but it was just not enough against the Constanta team who were better than us over two matches,” Lugi coach Tomas Axnér told

“However, I think we leave the EHF Cup in honour. For instance, we managed to win all our home matches in the tournament,” Tomas Axnér added.

Once again Alexandru Simicu was most scoring player by Constanta, this time with eight goals, while Norwegian international Johannes Hippe scored seven times for the hosts.

Photo: Lars-Erik Nilsson

TEXT: Peter Bruun / br