19 Nov. 2019
The second-tier international club competition for women in Europe, the Women’s EHF Cup, reached the end of the qualification rounds on Sunday evening – and now 16 teams are ready to contest the competition’s group phase. The qualification stage for the EHF Cup has seen a total of 57 teams from 32 nations across Europe vying for places in the group phase in the three rounds played since early September.
Twelve of the teams to contest the group phase made their way through the qualification rounds, joining the competition at different stages based on their nation’s position on the EHF ranking and their own place within their domestic league. Those 12 clubs are joined by the four sides eliminated from the top-tier competition, the Women’s EHF Champions League, at the end of the group matches: HC Podravka Vegeta from Croatia, MKS Perla Lublin from Poland, SG BBM Bietigheim from Germany, and DHK Banik Most from Czech Republic.
With three teams each, Hungary and Denmark will be the most represented in the Women’s EHF Cup group phase – the same two nations that were represented in the finals last season, with Hungarian club Siófok KC taking the 2018/19 title ahead of three Danish teams that reached the semi-finals.
Alongside Siófok, Érd HC and DVSC Schaeffler were the other Hungarian sides who won their round three play-offs and secured berths in the group phase. From Denmark, Odense Håndbold, Herning-Ikast Håndbold and København Håndbold were the teams that earned places in the group phase.
Romania celebrated the progression of two teams, as CS Măgura Cisnădie and CSM Corona Brașov won their respective play-offs to reach the group phase. The situation was quite unusual, as both of the aggregate results came to a draw, and the teams therefore progressed based on having scored more goals than their opponents in the away leg. Cisnadie eliminated Spanish side Rocasa Gran Canaria, while Brasov knocked out fellow Romanian club Bistrita.
From Norway, Storhamer Handball Elite also eliminated a domestic rival: Tertnes HE. German club Thüringer HC won a close play-off versus Russian club HC Astrakhanochka. The play-off results overall did not favour Russian sides, with three of their four representatives knocked out in round three. Only HC Lada progressed, after defeating fellow Russian team Zvezda Zvenigorod.
The last nation represented in the group phase will be Turkey, following Kastamonu GSK’s narrow triumph over Hungarian side Váci NKSE.
The draw for the group phase will be held on Thursday, 21 November. More information on the Women’s EHF Cup is available on the official website for the competition.
PHOTO: European Handball Federation