Last call sounds for hotly contested group phase
The EHF European League Men returns to the spotlights Tuesday night as qualification round 2 draws to a close, with 24 teams looking to stamp their name on the 12 remaining spots in the group phase.
While some teams look to have one foot already in the group phase after the first leg last week, there will also be four tasty ties with a gap of four goals or less.
German sides have traditionally dominated Europe's second-tier club competition, but last season's bronze medal winners Rhein-Neckar Löwen were held to a draw at home in leg one (31:31), with the Lions now travelling to Lisbon to attempt to snatch a win from the dogged SL Benfica.
Likewise, EHF Cup 2010 winners TBV Lemgo Lippe will have their first home European cup tie in 10 years as they look to protect their narrow one-goal lead (27:26) over Valur Iceland after a fiery first leg in Reykjavik.
Füchse Berlin, last season's finalists, had a smoother first leg - thanks to an amazing second half - and they carry a huge eight-goal cushion over KS Azoty-Pulawy with them into the home leg in Berlin.
Too close to call
PAUC Handball and ØIF Arendal had a cracker of a first game (27:27) which saw the lead seesaw from Norwegian side to the French before being stuck in a deadlock for the final stretch of leg 1.
The French hosts will be looking to Olympic, two-time world and EHF EURO champion William Accambray, who was best in front of goal last week with six. Arendal rely on young talent and 20-year-old Jørg Gjermundnes. While the Norwegian was a bit trigger-happy (53%) in front of goal, he still netted a cool seven for his side last time out.
One of the ties covered live on EHFTV is the return leg between Abanca Ademar Leon and BM Logroño La Rioja, two sides that know each other inside and out from the Spanish domestic league. Don't let the four-goal gap deceive, this tie is anything but over.
Fans should their eyes peeled for Leonardo Dutra, who went on a rampage in leg one netting 12 goals, the Brazilian international clearly enjoying his new role for La Rioja after his move from Plock in the summer.
The third Spanish side in the mix has an uphill battle when Fraikin BM. Granollers host Swiss side Kadetten Schaffhausen. Granollers will be hoping the home advantage will help them close the three-goal gap but Kadetten can count on their own Spanish handball star and new signing Joan Cañellas, who netted 10 against his old club in the first outing.
EHF EUROPEAN LEAGUE MEN – QUALIFICATION ROUND 2 SECOND LEG
HK Malmö vs Fenix Toulouse Handball
Mors-Thy Handbold vs GOG
Füchse Berlin vs KS Azoty-Pulawy SA
HC Dobrogea Sud Constanta vs Orlen Wisla Plock
RK Nexe vs Bjerringbro-Silkeborg - live on EHFTV
TTH Holstebro vs Sporting CP - live on EHFTV
PAUC Handball vs ØIF Arendal
HC CSKA vs USAM Nimes Gard
Fraikin BM. Granollers vs Kadetten Schaffhausen - live on EHFTV
TBV Lemgo Lippe vs Valur Iceland
SL Benfica vs Rhein-Neckar Löwen - live on EHFTV
Abanca Ademar Leon vs BM Logroño La Rioja - live on EHFTV