Former Champions League finalists against first time finalistsArticle
«Go back

PREVIEW: Seguros in their third European final, while the Challenge Cup final will be the debut for Odorhei.

Former Champions League finalists against first time finalists

Liberty Seguros ABC/UMinho have the advantage, that at least as a club, they have been in two European finals before, when they take on Handball club Odorhei in the Men's Challenge Cup final, as the Romanian side are in their first continental final ever.

The first leg of the final tie is going to take place in the Pavilho Flavio Sa Leite in Braga on Sunday evening and can e followed on the live ticker.

It has to be said, though, that we have to go some years back to find Seguros' previous participation in European Cup finals.

Their first final – under the name ABC Braga was as far back as in the 1993/94 season – but that was even in the most prominent of all European competitions, the EHF Champions League which launched exactly that season.

The team from Braga in the northern part of Portugal actually managed to draw 22:22 at home against Spanish TEKA Santander in the first leg, before they lost narrowly, 23:21 away.

Their latest final was the Challenge Cup final in the 2004/05 season, when Wacker Thun from Switzerland became too big a task.

To Odorhei, their finest achievement in Europe before this season was last year, when they reached the quarter-final of the Challenge Cup, only to be sent out by another Portuguese team – Aguas Santas-Milaneza.

However, Odorhei have already got their revenge against Portuguese teams, as they defeated SL Benfica in the semi-final of the tournament this season.

Having got as far as the final is big in itself to the Romanian club.

“Through reaching the Challenge Cup final, the team has already achieved the proposed objective from the beginning of the season,” head coach Vlad Caba tells

“HC Odorhei has also reached the highest sports performance in the 10 years existence of the club. Winning the final too would be the first major trophy, and we would take pride in winning it,” Vlad Caba adds.

In Braga, having reached the final seems to be regarded as just as big as it is seen by Odorhei.

“First is with great pleasure that we will hold the final of the Challenge Cup."

Right now, we have high expectations regarding the victory in the competition, in fact, according to the goals set at the beginning of the season,” says head coach Carlos Resende.

We will play on Sunday with an awareness of the difficulties that the opponent will put us, but with increased motivation on the one hand, and with the perfect idea we have intrinsic quality to win the competition!” adds Carlos Resende.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / br