Quarter-final berths to be decided in Romania and FranceArticle
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ROUND PREVIEW: Three teams still in the race for the last two quarter-final tickets in Group 2. Viborg are one point ahead of Baia Mare and Metz, but will it be enough?

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Quarter-final berths to be decided in Romania and France

While it has been a fact for long now that Larvik and Györi Audi ETO KC take the two top spots in Group 2 of the main round in the Women's EHF Champions League, the last two tickets for the quarter-finals are still waiting to be handed out.

Three teams are still in the race, and on the last match day, two games on Sunday evening will decide which two teams can celebrate their quarter-final berth.

Viborg HK, HCM Baia Mare and Metz Handball all have their destiny in their own hands. Baia Mare, who have six points are meeting Viborg with seven points in a direct encounter in Romania, while Metz Handball, who are on six points like Baia Mare, are receiving Györ.

Larvik and IK Sävehof have nothing at stake in their Scandinavian derby Saturday.


Larvik (NOR) vs IK Sävehof (SWE)
Saturday 14 March, 18.30 local time, live on ehfTV

Neither Larvik nor Sävehof have anything really at stake, when they meet in the Arena Larvik Saturday evening.

Larvik have been sure to win the group for weeks already, and last weekend it became clear that Sävehof are not only without a chance to proceed to the quarter-finals, but also that the Swedish champions are sure to finish sixth and last in the Group.

Both teams have won their national leagues with maximum points already, but in their direct encounter, there is no doubt, that even in a match without importance for the league table, Larvik will be huge favourites, not least as the Champions League winners from 2011 will be keen to end their main round campaign in style.

Metz Handball (FRA) vs Györ Audi ETO KC (HUN)
Sunday 15 March, 19.00 local time, live on ehfTV

For quite some time, Györ have been sure to reach the quarter-finals, and for a couple of weeks it has even been clear, that the back-to-back champions will finish second in the group.

The situation is completely different for Metz who will qualify for the quarter-finals in case of a win, while a draw or a defeat will make them depend on the outcome of the match between HCM Baia Mare and Viborg which is being played at the same time.

Being on six points like Baia Mare, and being better internally, Metz will finish ahead of Baia Mare, if both teams end on the same number of points, while Metz have a deficit against Viborg who even have a point more than the French champions.

Therefore, Metz will need a win in order to make sure to proceed to the quarter-final, but the question is, if a Györ team who will be highly motivated to end the main round with style, will let them.

HCM Baia Mare (ROU) vs Viborg HK (DEN)
Sunday 15 March, 20.00 local time, live on ehfTV

Due to the time difference between Romania and France, this match is actually played at the same time as the match between Metz and Györ which means that no team will know the other teams' results in advance.

To both teams, the situation is clear. The winner will qualify for the quarter-finals for sure. Viborg, who have a point more than Baia Mare and Metz, can do with a draw, while a draw will make Baia Mare depend on the result between Metz and Györ. If Romanian champions lose, they are out, while Viborg can afford to lose, if Metz do not beat Györ.

“We won in Denmark with a one-goal margin, but it was a very hard game. They are fighters and will bring that to the table in Sunday’s game. We have to play for 60 minutes at a high level and never let our concentration drop,” Baia Mare's Brazilian goalkeeper Barbara Arenhart tells ehfCL.com.

Her fellow Brazilian Chana Masson De Souza who guards the goal in Viborg, says: “We are still hit on our resources with many injured players, but we will simply have to focus on our own game and our own way of playing and rely on ourselves.”

TEXT: Peter Bruun / br