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EHF European League Women group stage spots decided this weekend

Filip Mishov
Filip Mishov

The teams aiming for a place in the group stage of the EHF European League Women are 60 minutes away from realising their dream, as the second legs of qualification round 3 take place this weekend. The main focus of the return legs will be on Fredriksberg in Denmark where Kobenhavn Handbold and Costa del Sol Malaga enter their second leg level after the breath taking draw in the first leg, and also in Braila, after H.C. Dunarea Braila secured a last-second win against BV Borussia 09 in Germany.

Additionally, there are a couple of double-headers on the agenda with HC Podravka Vegeta hosting SPONO Eagles in Koprivnica in a bid to become the second Croatian club to secure a spot in the group stage of Europe's second-tier club competition after HC Lokomotiva Zagreb successfully advanced last week. Meanwhile, CSM Targu Jiu are welcoming the ambitious Önnereds HK in Romania.

Praktiker-Vác, Chambray Touraine Handball, Neptunes Nantes and MKS FunFloor Lublin hold big advantages ahead of the return legs and are on the right track to progress, while Sola HK, HSG Bensheim/Auerbach and Storhamar Handball Elite need  decent performances away from home to guarantee their group stage tickets.

Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK (TUR) vs Praktiker-Vác (HUN)

Saturday, 18 November, 13:00 CET

  • the hosts are unbeaten on home soil against the Hungarian club after comfortably winning their previous two matches against Praktiker-Vác in Türkiye with identical seven-goal differences on both occasions
  • the Turkish team's line player, Ceren Demirçelen will be hoping for a helping hand as she scored eight goals in the first leg, at least three more than any of her teammates
  • the Hungarian side ended Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK's unbeaten run in all competitions this season
  • Praktiker-Vác are looking to confirm their place in the group stage after securing a huge 16-goal lead in Hungary
  • each and every outfield player of Praktiker-Vác's squad scored at least one goal in the dominant win in Vác, displaying a brilliant attacking performance

SPONO Eagles (SUI) vs HC Podravka Vegeta (CRO)

Saturday, 18 November, 17:00 CET

HC Podravka Vegeta (CRO) vs SPONO Eagles (SUI)

Sunday, 19 November, 12:00 CET

  • the Swiss club is aiming to secure a place in the competition's group stage for the first time in their history after being eliminated in qualification round 2 last season
  • SPONO Eagles are sitting in second place in the Swiss League, only behind LC Brühl, another participant in the Europe's second-tier club competition
  • it is the first-ever meeting between the clubs
  • the Croatian side is looking to secure a place in the EHF European League Women's group stage for second consecutive season
  • HC Podravka Vegeta are on a 11-match winning run this season and are sitting comfortably on top of the Croatian League

Önnereds HK (SWE) vs CSM Targu Jiu (ROU)

Saturday, 18 November, 17:00 CET

CSM Targu Jiu (ROU) vs Önnereds HK (SWE)

Sunday, 19 November, 17:00 CET

  • the Swedish club secured a place in the competition's qualification round 3 after a dramatic penalty shoot-out win against Hypo Niederösterreich in qualification round 2
  • Önnereds HK are looking to secure a place in the EHF European League Women group stage for the first time in their history
  • it is the first-ever meeting between the sides
  • this is the debut for the Romanian club in the EHF's club competitions
  • CSM Targu Jiu are struggling in the Romanian League this season and they are on a three-match losing run and have notched only three wins this season with their latest one coming back in October

DHK Banik Most (CZE) vs Chambray Touraine Handball (FRA)

Saturday, 18 November, 18:00 CET

  • the hosts have only lost once on their home court this season in all competitions
  • Eszter Ogonovszky and Natálie Kuxová scored six goals each for the Czech club in the first leg, at least four more than any of the other players and if DHK Banik Most are to mount a comeback, they will need more players to greatly contribute
  • Karin Rezácová made 18 saves in the first leg in France and the DNK Banik Most goalkeeper will be one of the hosts' key players in the second leg too
  • the French club is looking to confirm its place in the group stage after securing a huge 13-goal lead on home soil
  • Manon Houette and Nadia Mielke-Offendal combined for 14 goals and led Chambray Touraine Handball's attack in the dominant win in the first leg

Super Amara Bera Bera (ESP) vs Sola HK (NOR)

Sunday, 19 November, 12:00 CET

  • the ambitious hosts are unbeaten on home court in all competitions this season
  • Emma Boada Coronado scored 11 goals in the first leg, at least six more than any of her teammates and the Spanish centre back will be hoping for a helping hand from her teammates if the hosts are to annul the seven-goal deficit from the first leg
  • Super Amara Bera Bera will need to stop the experienced left wing, Camilla Herrem who scored 12 goals against them in the first leg
  • Sola HK have only lost one away match in their previous seven with the sole defeat coming to Storhamar Handball Elite, another participant in the competition
  • the Norwegian club were quarter-finalists in the previous two seasons of the competition and are aiming for a high ranking again this season

H.C. Dunarea Braila (ROU) vs BV Borussia 09 Dortmund (GER)

Sunday, 19 November, 16:00 CET

  • the hosts are defending a one-goal lead from the first leg in Germany
  • H.C. Dunarea Braila lost two of their previous three home matches in the Romanian League
  • in a match full of turnarounds and drama, the Romanian club snatched a last-second win and the return leg promises to be another super-exciting match
  • Dutch goalkeeper Tess Lieder made 15 saves for the German club in the first leg and she will play a key role in the second leg too
  • BV Borussia 09 Dortmund are unbeaten on the road in the Bundesliga and are one of only two teams without a single defeat
20230327 BVB NANT 0712
It will be a crazy atmosphere, but I told our girls that we are only one goal down, anything can happen. We will do everything we can to qualify for the group stage.”
Henk Groener
Head coach, BV Borussia 09 Dortmund

VfL Oldenburg (GER) vs HSG Bensheim/Auerbach (GER)

Sunday, 19 November, 16:30 CET

  • the hosts are chasing an eight-goal deficit from their first-leg away loss in Bensheim
  • the home side has only two wins in their previous five matches at home against HSG Bensheim/Auerbach in the Bundesliga
  • VfL Oldenburg displayed a solid performance in the first leg, but lost momentum in the second half as the teams were even at half-time
  • whoever wins the tie will be written into history because neither team has played in the EHF European League Women group stage before
  • HSG Bensheim/Auerbach have lost two of their previous three away matches in all competitions this season

H 65 Höörs HK (SWE) vs Storhamar Handball Elite (NOR)

Sunday, 19 November, 16:30 CET

  • the hosts are on a five-match winning streak on their home court in all competitions this season
  • the Swedish club are chasing a nine-goal margin, but they can be satisfied with their first half performance from the first leg and, if they can repeat it, they can be hopeful of mounting a comeback
  • Emma Nuhanovic scored eight goals in the first leg for H 65 Höörs HK in the first leg, at least three goals more than any other player
  • the visitors have lost only once in their previous five away matches in all competitions
  • nine players got on the scoresheet for Storhamar Handball Elite in the first leg, rounding off an impressive attacking display in front of their own fans

Molde Elite (NOR) vs Neptunes Nantes (FRA)

Sunday, 19 November, 17:00 CET

  • the hosts are on a two-match losing run at home in all competitions
  • centre back Christine Alver scored 10 goals for the Norwegian club in the first leg, at least four more than any of the other player
  • Molde Elite's goalkeepers made only a couple of saves in the first leg and if they are to display a solid performance on home court, an improvement between the posts is much-needed
  • the French club is all but certain to make the group stage after securing a huge 17-goal lead in the first leg
  • Neptunes Nantes are unbeaten on the road this season and are on a five-match away winning streak

MKS FunFloor Lublin (POL) vs ZORK Jagodina (SER)

Sunday, 19 November, 18:00 CET

  • the Polish club has lost only once at home this season and won four matches on that impressive run
  • with a 16-goal advantage from the first leg, MKS FunFloor Lublin are all but certain to make the competition's group stage for the second time
  • Srna Sukur scored eight goals in the first leg for ZORK Jagodina, at least five more than any other player, and she will be looking for a helping hand from her teammates in the second leg
  • the visitors have lost only once on the road in the Serbian League this season

Kobenhavn Handbold (DEN) vs Costa del Sol Malaga (ESP)

Sunday, 19 November, 18:00 CET

  • the hosts earned a hard-fought draw in the first leg through a last-minute equalizer through Stine Østergaard Jørgensen finding the back of the net
  • Kobenhavn Handbold and Costa del Sol Malaga were the only teams whose match ended in a draw after the first leg and it promises to be another dramatic encounter in Fredriksberg in the second
  • the visitors have already played on Norwegian soil this season, defeating Larvik HK in the qualification round 2
  • if the Spanish club wins in Denmark, they will qualify in the EHF European League Women's group stage for the first time in their history
  • Costa del Sol Malaga have only lost once in their previous five away matches in all competitions

Photos © STEMI, CALMEL Alexis, Costa del Sol Malaga

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