One German side will make it to NantesArticle
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QUARTER-FINAL PREVIEW: Former EHF Cup winners Frisch Auf Göppingen and SC Magdeburg clash for a spot at the EHF Cup Finals.
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One German side will make it to Nantes

There is a lot of history between both sides, when Frisch Auf Göppingen and SC Magdeburg clash in the quarter-finals of the Men’s EHF Cup twice within four days.

Both clubs won the old format of the competition several times, both sides are eager to continue the story of German success in the EHF Cup – but only one will make it to Nantes.

Frisch Auf Göppingen (GER) vs SC Magdeburg (GER)
Saturday 23 April, 19:30 hrs local time

Neither Göppingen nor Magdeburg wanted to have an All-German duel in this stage of the EHF Cup, as the goal of both was to make it to the EHF Cup Finals at Nantes.

Göppingen, home team of the first leg, bid for hosting the EHF Cup Finals themselves, but failed against Nantes, their later-on group phase opponent.

Three years ago, Göppingen had already qualified for the first ever final tournament of the EHF Cup Nantes – at that time as the defending champions of the old formal (winner in 2011 and 2012), but they finally lost twice, finishing on the fourth position.

For Magdeburg, history repeats itself even more, as in 2013 they were also winners of their group (like now), but had to face another German team in the quarter-finals. In aggregate, the three time EHF Cup winner failed against Rhein-Neckar Löwen, later-on the first winner of the new format.

Like in 2013, a German club won the trophy in 2015: Füchse Berlin. Now, the aggregate winner of this All-German quarter-finals is eager to step into those footprints.

"We would have liked to face an international opponent, but a draw is no wishing well. So we have to grab our chances in this constellation,” said Frisch Auf manager Gerd Hofele after the draw, adding: "All other potential opponents would not have been easier. Our chances to proceed are 50:50."

Magdeburg’s young coach Bennet Wiegert – as a player part of the last SCM EHF Cup triumph in 2007 – has a different view: "Göppingen are the toughest of all opponents we could get. The only little advantage for us it hopefully the fact that we have the second match at home."

Both sides fully agree that "there are definitely no secrets among those two clubs, as we faced each other so often". Wiegert is sure that "little things will decide both encounters on equal level".

The EHF Cup Quarter-finals will already be the duels four and five of Göppingen and Magdeburg this season – and Magdeburg have won two of three duels so far, in the Bundesliga 28:27 and in the German Cup quarter-final 29:25, but they lost the away match in Göppingen clearly by 24:32.

And as the EHF Cup is the last chance for Göppingen to hope for a title (and an international experience for next season), Magdeburg still have the German cup final tournament, where they face Bergischer HC in the semi-final, three days after the second leg of the second EHF Cup Quarter-final.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / es