AEK and Ystad proceed to final
The final of the EHF European Cup Men will be a duel between Northern Europe and Southern Europe as it will feature teams from Sweden and Greece.
On Saturday, AEK Athens HC defended their two-goal advantage in the semi-finals against RK Gorenje Velenje, while Ystads IF took revenge at home versus Sabbianco Anorthosis Famagusta.
The first leg of the EHF European Cup Men final will be played on the weekend of 15/16 May and the second leg will take place on 22/23 May. The draw to determine which leg of the final each team hosts will not be needed. As AEK played the European club competition final within the last three seasons (Challenge Cup final in 2017/18) and had a home right in the second leg, according to the regulations they will start in the final against Ystads at home and play the second leg in Sweden.
- after a 31:29 win in the first leg, a 31:31 draw in Velenje saw AEK reach the final with a 62:60 win on aggregate
- Domen Tajnik’s nine goals did not help Velenje; at AEK, Patrick Toniazzo netted seven times
- while AEK have already played in a European Cup final, losing to AHC Potaissa Turda in the 2017/18 Challenge Cup, Ystad are new at this level
- last week, Ystad lost at Anorthosis 26:24, but a 26:22 home win lifted the Swedish side to the final as they won 50:48 on aggregate
- similar to the first leg, Konstantinos Kotanidis, the Cypriot team’s goalkeeper, did a good job – recording 13 saves – yet his effort was not enough
AEK make strong comeback
In Velenje, the home side were dominant for much of the game, comfortably leading 10:4 midway through the first half, 19:13 at the break and 27:20 in the 46th minute.
However, AEK made a strong comeback in the last quarter of the game, as they enjoyed an impressive 8:1 run between the 46th and 55th minutes, and a draw was ultimately enough for the Greek side to reach the final.