06 Apr. 2021
There was little drama, yet the handball was of the highest quality, when the eight quarter-finals teams of the inaugural edition of the EHF European League Women met over the past two weekends.
All four teams who finished first in the group phase secured berths in the EHF Finals Women 2021, after sweeping their opponents in emphatic fashion, winning all eight games, in a display of sheer strength.
The Romanian derby between CS Minaur Baia Mare and H.C. Dunarea Braila was the most lopsided doubleheader in the quarter-finals, as Baia Mare proved to be too strong for their counterparts. Extending their 16-game unbeaten streak against Braila, dating back to 2013, Baia Mare secured two impressive wins, and handed Braila a 58:49 aggregate loss.
One of the most decorated European teams in history, with six European trophies under their name, Herning-Ikast Handbold have new chances for silverware, after eliminating Handball Club Lada, with a 59:54 aggregate win. Norwegian centre back Helene Fauske was superb for the Danish side, scoring 17 goals in the two matches against the Russians.
Two other Russian sides were knocked out in the quarter-finals. HC Zvezda conceded two losses against Nantes Atlantique Handball, as the French side cruised to a 63:57 aggregate win, qualifying in the top four in a European competition for the first time in their history. The French side relied heavily on the top goal scorer of the competition, Brazilian centre back Bruna de Paula, who scored 54 times for Nantes in the EHF European League Women.
With both ties being played in Hungary, due to the current health situation, Astrakhanochka had little chance against the reigning champions in the Women’s EHF Cup, Siófok KC. The only unbeaten side this season in the EHF European League Women, Siófok took two convincing wins and secured a 61:54 aggregate win against their Russian opponents.
Minaur Baia Mare, Herning-Ikast, Nantes and Siófok will tough it out for the trophy on 8 and 9 May, in the EHF Finals Women 2021, with the location yet to be announced. Both Herning and Siófok have won European silverware before, while Baia Mare and Nantes are still looking for their first European trophy.
Photo: Siófok KC