SUMMARY: Rapid advances following a thriller ending; Esbjerg wins the MOTW
The time has finally arrived for us to find out which four teams will join CSM Bucuresti, Metz, Vipers Kristiansand, and Györ in the quarter-finals of the EHF Champions League Women.
- on Saturday, FTC managed to defeat Buducnost 27:22, while the match between Odense and Storhamar ended with a draw (30:30)
- on Sunday, Esbjerg defeated Brest Bretagne 27:24, and Rapid managed to overcome the five-goal deficit from the first leg versus Krim (30:24)
- with these results, FTC (v. Metz), Odense (v. Györ), Esbjerg (v. CSM Bucuresti), and Rapid Bucuresti (v. Vipers) have managed to secure quarter-finals tickets
- all matches live on EHF TV (geo-restrictions may apply)
SUNDAY, 26 MARCH 2023
And with that, we're slowly bringing our live coverage of the EHF Champions League Women Playoffs to an end. Another exciting handball afternoon, during which we've found out the names of the final two teams that will play in the EHF CLW quarter-finals is now behind us.
First legs of the quarter-final clashes are scheduled for April 29, and second legs will be played a week later (May 07). Until then, stick to our news articles that will prepare you in the best possible way for what lies ahead. Hope you enjoyed our live coverage, and have a great rest of the day!
As always, at the end of the matchday, we're bringing you our review articles where you'll find everything you need to know about the matches we've seen today - facts & figures included!
Now that the final match of the EHF Champions League Women Playoffs is behind us, we know all the quarter-final pairings! In the EHF CLW quarter-finals (29 April first leg, 07 May second leg), we'll see Rapid Bucuresti face off against Vipers Kristiansand, FTC will play Metz, Esbjerg will meet CSM Bucuresti, and Odense will play Györ!
With the final game of the EHF Champions League Women Playoffs behind us, it's time for our last photo gallery for the weekend!
What a game we've seen in Bucharest, with the host overcoming the five-goal deficit from the first leg. Incredible atmosphere, narrow result, lots of great moves!
RESULT: Not a match for the faint-hearted! 😳 The last team to get a ticket for the #ehfcl quarter-finals is CS Rapid Bucuresti!— EHF Champions League (@ehfcl) March 26, 2023
After an intense battle in Bucharest, the hosts managed to overcome a five-goal deficit and win 30:24 against @RKKrim 👏 pic.twitter.com/LFzyKhAqYm
17:30 FULL TIME
CS RAPID BUCURESTI - KRIM MERCATOR LJUBLJANA 30:24
Sorina Maria Grozav scores from the seven-meter line just under 30 seconds before the final buzzer to give Rapid a six-goal lead that proves to be enough for them to secure a QF berth as Krim commits a turnover in the final possession. Rapid goes through to the quarter-finals where they will meet Vipers. The city of Bucharest will have two teams in the EHF CLW quarter-finals.
Scenes from Romania after the final whistle are looking really amazing.
Jovanka Radicevic cuts the gap to five as we're entering the final minute of the encounter! In case Rapid wins by five, we're going straight to the seven-meter shootout. Time-out Rapid!
Seven-goal Rapid lead going into the final five minutes of the game! Can Krim get back?
Krim coming up with some really cool plays to narrow the gap.
23:18 Rapid lead with ten minutes to go.
Every handball player dreams of getting assists like this 💭— EHF Champions League (@ehfcl) March 26, 2023
Aleksandra Rosiak 🤝 team player#ehfcl | @RKKrim pic.twitter.com/Xi1zqd3MDU
Krim has managed to cut the gap, and Romanians are currently 19:16 in front. With this result, Slovenian representatives would advance through to the quarter-finals. We've got an interesting finish to the last EHF CLW Playoffs game ahead of us!
Quick-fire double from Rapid to start the second half, and the first leg advantage is melted completely! The hosts are currently 14:8 in front!
Jovanka Radicevic is once again playing an excellent game, but Krim is going to need a lot more than that to slow Rapid down and eventually move on to the EHF CLW quarter-finals.
Just a reminder 🔔 of how talented @RKKrim's Jovanka Radicevic is 💥 #ehfcl pic.twitter.com/B4OO8dn1fZ— EHF Champions League (@ehfcl) March 26, 2023
16:35 HALF TIME
CS RAPID BUCURESTI - KRIM MERCATOR LJUBLJANA 12:8
After the first 30 minutes, hosts have managed to almost completely close the five-goal gap that Krim created in the first leg. Estavana Polman is playing a remarkable match so far with five goals. Jovanka Radicevic has three for Krim, while Jovana Risovic has six saves (33%).
With just over two minutes left, Rapid is leading 11:7! Estavana Polman shines with four goals so far!
Three-goal lead (8:5) for Rapid heading into the final ten minutes of the first. The Romanians are looking really good so far, and have almost already managed to cut the aggregate gap of five goals. Denisa Sandru is having a day so far stopping just over 37% of shots heading her way.
What a way to start the day!
🤔 Gravity? What's that?— EHF Champions League (@ehfcl) March 26, 2023
Estavana Polman defies the laws of physics 🤯 to score a sensational goal for CS Rapid Bucuresti 👏#ehfcl pic.twitter.com/VjhJNaUNoY
Estavana Polman is leading the hosts with two goals so far, as Rapid leads 3:2. Jovana Risovic in having a good day between the posts for Krim so far with four early saves.
The match in Bucharest is under way! Hosts will have the first possession in this amazing atmosphere!
Only five more minutes left until the opening buzzer, and the atmosphere is slowly heating up.
Final match of the day, and the final match of the EHF Champions League Women Playoffs is ahead of us with Rapid welcoming Krim in Bucharest. Slovenian representatives in the competition are bringing a five-goal plus to Romania, to play the team that has not lost a single home game so far this season. The history books are also telling us that Krim has never managed to win a game in Romania, which suggest that an exciting match is ahead of us surely.
With the first game of the day now behind us, it's time to have a quick look at some of the best photos from Esbjerg!
Mette Tranborg played a big role for Esbjerg in this one scoring five goals, and being one of their key defensive players: ''We fought really well, we were aware that it's going to be a tough game. We tried not to think about the three-goal win from last week, but focus completely on this match, and I feel like we succeeded. I'm really happy.'', concluded Tranborg after the game.
15:25 FULL TIME
TEAM ESBJERG - BREST BRETAGNE HANDBALL 27:24
A three-goal win for Esbjerg in the end, which means the Danish team has officially booked the EHF Champions League Women quarter-finals ticket. In the next stage of the competition, they will play CSM Bucuresti for the EHF Final 4 ticket.
Two-goal lead for Esbjerg (23:21), with only seven minutes left on the clock. That means Esbjerg is now inches away from securing the quarter-finals ticket.
As we're approaching the final 15 minutes of the game, Esbjerg leads 21:17. Anna Kristensen has ten saves, stopping just over 37% of shots heading her way.
Henny Reistad puts an end on the first half in an amazing fashion from distance.
⚠️ We can't let this day end without showing you a ✨ dazzling ✨ goal by Henny Reistad.— EHF Champions League (@ehfcl) March 26, 2023
💭 Rate this goal: ___/💯#ehfcl pic.twitter.com/WAlCBd325u
Mette Tranborg scores the first goal of the second half as Esbjerg widens the gap to three goals.
We're watching a great battle of goalkeepers in our MOTW with Anna Kristensen (Esbjerg), and Julie Foggea (Brest) having six saves each at the break.
✅ Confirmed: goalkeepers are on 🔥 today.— EHF Champions League (@ehfcl) March 26, 2023
⏩ Here's Julie Foggea saving a seven-meter throw for @BBH_Officiel ☄️#ehfcl pic.twitter.com/sGO5haS09k
14:35 FULL TIME
TEAM ESBJERG - BREST BRETAGNE HANDBALL 14:12
Going into the half-time break, the hosts have a two-goal lead, meaning their aggregate lead is now +5. Mette Tranborg, and Henny Reistad have netted four each for Esbjerg in the first, while Jenny Helen Carlson scored just as much for Brest.
And here are the half-time stats!
Judging by the start of the game, it feels like Anna Kristensen might deliver another amazing performance between the posts for Esbjerg.
Anna Opstrup Kristensen making sure @TeamEsbjerg's goal is well-defended today 🦁#ehfcl pic.twitter.com/VHSSsKPalX— EHF Champions League (@ehfcl) March 26, 2023
It's a 8:7 Esbjerg lead heading into the final ten minutes of the first. Mette Tranborg is leading the way for the hosts with three goals, while Jenny Helen Carlson has just as much for Brest.
Anna Kristensen is leading Esbjerg so far with three saves, while Nora Mørk has a goal and an assist. Pauletta Foppa is, on the other side, leading Brest' attack with two goals so far proving to be a big problem for Esbjerg's defense at the moment. With 12 minutes played, Brest leads 3:4.
Anna Kristensen dominated the game in France between the posts for Esbjerg with amazing 18 saves. To make it even worse for Brest, it seems like she has decided to simply continue where she stopped a week ago already having two remarkable saves! With five minutes on the clock, the hosts are 2:1 in front.
It's go-time in Esbjerg! The hosts will have the first possession!
Ten more minutes until the opening buzzer in Esbjerg, and the atmosphere looks great!
Heading into the game, Henny Reistad sits on top of the scorers list so far this season with 115 goals! Reistad proved to be the key in the first leg against Brest as well exploding for eight goals, and it will be interesting to see whether coach Morel and his players have managed to find a way to slow her down.
With just under 20 minutes left until the opening buzzer, here is what Brest Bretagne head coach Pablo Morel, and Nora Mørk of Team Esbjerg had to say going into this one.
We've managed to win the game in France by a small margin despite not playing a perfet game. The job is, however far from done. At the moment we're in a good flow with many wins, and the goal is to keep the momentum going on Sunday!
Now, coming up from 14.00 CET, Brest Bretagne is going to face Esbjerg on the road in our MOTW! An eventual home win for Esbjerg would actually be their 40th in the competition, and it would obviously send them through for the third time in the history of the EHF CLW. Brest will, on the other side, look to overcome the first-leg deficit and book a spot among eight of the best teams in Europe for the fourth time in a row.
The #MOTW of the round. Equality was palpable in the first leg. Let's see if the Frenchies can make it difficult for Team Esbjerg at home! 🔥❗— EHF Champions League (@ehfcl) March 26, 2023
𝙏𝙚𝙖𝙢 𝙀𝙨𝙗𝙟𝙚𝙧𝙜🆚 𝘽𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝘽𝙧𝙚𝙩𝙖𝙜𝙣𝙚 𝙃𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙗𝙖𝙡𝙡
⏰ 14:00h CEST
📆 Sunday 26 March 2023 pic.twitter.com/nlwYBp9umV
Now, before we start getting ready for today's games, let's take a minute to give the word to yesterday's winners:
Ulrik Kirkely, Odense head coach:
Of course we're happy we've managed to qualify for the EHF CLW quarter-finals. We're happy we've managed to bring ourselves into this position to qualify despite not playing well in the second leg. I have to say I'm disappointed with our performance in this match, and I feel like we definitely didn't deserve more than a draw in this one.
Gábor Elek, FTC head coach:
It was a special match, a big fight in which we had to find ways to adapt and overcome certain problems, but in the end we were successful. I don't think we've played our best game, but when you look at the aggregate score, +9 looks comfortable. I'm happy we've managed to book a spot among eight of the best teams in Europe.
Hello, and welcome back to our live coverage of the EHF Champions League Women Playoffs second legs! FTC and Odense have yesterday already managed to capitalize on their road wins from a week ago, booking a quarter-finals spot for themselves.
Today, we have two more games coming up - from 14.00 CET, Esbjerg will aim to use the three-goal away win from seven days ago, and book a QF spot in our MOTW! Later on, we're going to Bucharest, where Rapid will try to overcome the five-goal deficit from the first leg in Ljubljana against Krim. We've got a lot coming up so stay tuned!
SATURDAY, 25 MARCH 2023
And with that, we're bringing our EHF Champions League Women Playoffs live coverage for the day to a close. We hope you enjoyed it!
Tomorrow, we have another interesting day ahead of us! Live blog will be active from 13.00 CET, and the matches start at 14.00 CET! See you then, and have a great night ahead!
Tomorrow, we have two more second legs of the EHF Champions League Women coming up!
After a five-goal home win over Rapid Bucuresti, Krim will travel to the Romanian capital hoping to achieve a result that would help them book a quarter-final spot. In our MOTW, Esbjerg will host Brest Bretagne after the Danish team managed to secure a three-goal win on the road exactly a week ago.
As we're slowly bringing our daily EHF Champions League Women Playoffs coverage to a close, feel free to check out our articles where you'll find absolutely everything you need to know about the matches we've seen today!
With the second match of the day behind us, it is once again time to have a quick look at some of the best photos. Coming to you straight from Odense, Denmark!
With these two results, we now know two quarter-final matchups of this season's EHF Champions League Women - FTC is going to face Metz, and Odense will play against Györ. First legs of the quarter-finals are scheduled for 29 April, and second legs will be played a week later.
Guro Nestaker from far, far away.
Wow! From where did Guro Nestaker score? 🤯 10, 11 or maybe 12 meters? #ehfcl @StorhamarElite pic.twitter.com/M3SC2ISAPG— EHF Champions League (@ehfcl) March 25, 2023
19:30 FULL TIME
ODENSE HANDBOLD - STORHAMAR HANDBALL ELITE 30:30
In the end a draw, in a match in which both teams had their chances to reach the win. Anniken Obaidli played an incredible match scoring ten goals for Storhamar, while Bo van Wetering, and Rikke Iversen netted six each for hosts. Eli Marie Raasok finished the match with 13 saves for guests.
With this result, Odense has obviously managed to reach the quarter-finals of the EHF Champions League Women where they will face Györ.
With five minutes to go until the final buzzer, Odense leads 28:27 and the deal, when it comes to who will advance through to the quarter-finals of the EHF Champions League Women, appears to be sealed.
We've seen a lot of this in the second half in which the hosts managed to not only close the gap, but turn the match upside down, as they are currently 24:22 in front. This play action is however worth a second look.
Spin ➡️ Pass ➡️ Goal! Mie Enggrob Højlund 🤝 Ayaka Ikehara #ehfcl pic.twitter.com/aRXU6qdA7g— EHF Champions League (@ehfcl) March 25, 2023
Ten minutes into the second, hosts have managed to completely close the gap. The result is 20:20 at the moment, as van Wetering leads Odense with five, while Iversen has four.
Home-team defense is looking much better in the second half, and they are slowly narrowing the gap. With under 25 minutes left on the clock, Storhamar leads 17:18.
Maria Johanna Elinore Johansson showcases her goal-scoring skills in the first.
Three steps are not necessary - one jump is enough for Marie Johanna Elinore Johansson! 💪 @StorhamarElite #ehfcl pic.twitter.com/YtgXT4r1Nz— EHF Champions League (@ehfcl) March 25, 2023
18:35 HALF TIME
ODENSE HANDBOLD - STORHAMAR HANDBALL ELITE 13:16
With an incredible first-half performance, Storhamar has managed to narow the aggregate gap to -5. Anniken Obaidli scored seven first-half goals, Trine Pedersen and Bo van Wettering netted three each for Odense. We've got an interesting second half ahead of us!
Here are the half-time stats.
20 minutes into the encounter, Storhamar is leading 9:10 with Obaidli scoring four already from just as much attempts. They are looking much better in this second leg, but they'll have to be even better in order to overcome the deficit from the first leg.
It's a 5:4 lead for Odense with ten minutes on the clock. Trine Pedersen is leading their offense with three goals from just as much attempts, while Maria Johansson and Anniken Obaidli have two each for guests.
The match is under way, and Trine Pedersen opens the scoring as Odense takes a 1:0 lead at home.
Martina Thörn delivered a splendid performance between the posts for Odense in the first leg, and it will be interesting to see whether Storhamar has meantime managed to find a solution to be more effective when facing Thörn who exploded for 17 saves in Norway.
Only ten more minutes left until the first buzzer in Odense! After the eight-goal win on the road, Odense has managed to come inches away from securing the quarter-final berth, and the matchup against Györ, and it will be a hard job for Storhamar on the road in Denmark.
With the first match of the day behind us - it's time for the photo gallery!
FTC has, with this win, managed to advance through to the quarter-finals for the 11th time in the history, and right after the match Dragana Cvijic could not hide the excitement:
''Obviously I'm thrilled about this win here today! It was a tough match despite what the final result may look like. We've finally managed to reach the quarter-finals, but I assure you our plans do not stop here - our goal is to keep on!'', concluded FTC's line player.
17:30 FULL TIME
FTC-RAIL CARGO HUNGARIA - WHC BUDUCNOST BEMAX 27:22
Five-goal win for FTC in the end as the Hungarians book a place in the EHF Champions League Women quarter-finals where they will face French Metz. Stolle and Malestein netted five each for FTC, while Pavicevic scored seven for Buducnost.
Alicia Stolle spins and find the way past the guest-team defense. With under five more minutes on the clock, FTC is up by three (25:22)
🌪 Alicia Stolle twirls through the defence and scores for @Fradi_HU in the second half! #ehfcl pic.twitter.com/pdsZR5Oi6L— EHF Champions League (@ehfcl) March 25, 2023
Armelle Attingre is once again having a day between the posts for Buducnost with 11 saves so far. However, on the other side of the court, only four players have managed to find a way through to the net - Ivona Pavicevic (7), Milena Raicevic (6), Ivana Godec (5), and Matea Pletikosic (3).
Alicia Stolle widens the gap to three (20:17), with FTC being inches away from securing the QF ticket.
With three goals in this one so far, Katrin Klujber has managed to overtake the third position in the best scorers list so far this season in the EHF Champions League Women passing Marketa Jerabkova (Vipers).
FTC is currently 18:17 in front with 22 minutes left until the end of the encounter.
Well this is definitely something you don't see very often!
HALF-TIME: WHAT A MATCH! 🤩 @Fradi_HU lead by ONE goal against @ZrkBuducnost (14:13) at the break because of this goal by Katrin Klujber👇 pic.twitter.com/uR3t4VmeAB— EHF Champions League (@ehfcl) March 25, 2023
16:35 HALF TIME
FTC-RAIL CARGO HUNGARIA - WHC BUDUCNOST BEMAX 14:13
It's a 14:13 lead for the hosts at the half, as Katrin Klujber nets the last-second nine-meter shot over the block and past Armelle Attingre. Going into the second half, Hungarians have a five-goal aggregate lead over Buducnost.
And here are the half-time stats.
With a little over five minutes left before the half-time buzzer, FTC is still looking good leading 11:9. Let's take an extra moment to check this goal from Emily Bölk past Armelle Attingre - one of Buducnost' key players from a week ago.
What a 🚀! Emily Bölk scores here in a tight match between @fradi_HU and @zrkbuducnost! pic.twitter.com/HVvWkCDVGO— EHF Champions League (@ehfcl) March 25, 2023
It's 7:6 in favor of the hosts in the Erd Arena. Malestein keeps on leading the offense with three goals, while Ivona Pavicevic and Milena Raicevic have two each for Buducnost.
With just over five minutes on the clock, FTC is leading 4:3. Antje Angela Malestein is leading them with two goals so far.
The stage is set and we're all ready for the first game of the day! Buducnost will have the first possession.
With just over five minutes left until the first buzzer, we're bringing you the list of all four second legs waiting for us this weekend in the EHF Champions League Women Playoffs this weekend.
PS. The Erd Arena in Hungary appears to be ready for the game between FTC and Buducnost, as you can see in the background.
As we're waiting for the action to commence, we're bringing you some of the best warm-up pics from Erd, Hungary.
Despite the comfortable away win, coach of the Hungarian team seems to be careful going into the second leg against Buducnost.
We got a good result in the first leg, but that cannot make us feel comfortable. We want to beat Buducnost at home, our fantastic fans also deserve to enjoy a winning match.
With an important win in 'Moraca' sports hall in Podgorica behind them, Hungarian FTC will be looking for more of the same at home. Does Buducnost have what it takes to overcome the deficit on the road, or will FTC' away win from last weekend prove to be the key in this matchup? The drama is set to unfold starting from 16.00 CET in Erd Arena.
The Hungarians have a four-goal advantage. Will it be enough to advance to the quarter-finals?— EHF Champions League (@ehfcl) March 25, 2023
𝗙𝗧𝗖-𝗥𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗖𝗮𝗿𝗴𝗼 𝗛𝘂𝗻𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗮 🆚 𝗪𝗛𝗖 𝗕𝘂𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗻𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗕𝗘𝗠𝗔𝗫
⏰ 16:00h CET
📆 Saturday 25 March 2023 pic.twitter.com/WXdVvQj8gM
Hello everyone, and welcome to the live coverage of the EHF Champions League Women Playoffs second legs! We've got two games coming up today with FTC welcoming Buducnost (16.00 CET), and Odense hosting Storhamar (18.00 CET), and to get you in the right mood for all the excitement that lies ahead, feel free to go through some of the preview articles for round where you'll find all the data, facts, and figures about the matches that are ahead.
As always, special focus will be on our MOTW, and this time it's going to be the duel between Esbjerg and Brest that's scheduled for Sunday (14.00 CET).