20220218

Nantes hope to squeeze into quarter-final

EHF / Danijela Vekić, Adrian Costeiu, Sergey Nikolaev

Six of the eight quarter-finalists of the EHF European League Women 2021/22 have already been confirmed ahead of the final round of the group phase this weekend.

While all has been decided in groups A (Sola and Besancon) and D (Viborg and Valcea), there is still a lot to play for in groups B (winners Bietigheim) and C (winners Herning-Ikast), with a total of five teams still hopeful to finish as runners-up and grab one of the two remaining quarter-final spots.

In group B, third-ranked titleholders Nantes (currently on four points) need a misstep from second-ranked Baia Mare (five points) in order to be able to overtake the Romanian side.

And in group C, three teams – Storhamar, Cisnadie, and Lada – have at least a mathematical chance to join Herning into the quarter-final.

GROUP A

Motherson Mosonmagyarovari KC (HUN) vs HC Lokomotiva Zagreb (CRO)
Sunday 20 February, 14:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • both teams have no chance of progressing further
  • the Hungarian team won the reverse fixture 22:19
  • they might be last in their European League group, Lokomotiva are doing well in the Croatian league where they lately beat Umag 38:20 for first place
  • Mosonmagyarovar are welcoming Lokomotiva after a clear 34:25 win over Érd in the Hungarian league, but they still deal with injuries

Sola HK (NOR) vs ES Besancon Feminin (FRA)
Sunday 20 February, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Sola are looking to finish the group phase with a perfect six wins from six matches, while Besancon are aiming for their fourth victory
  • Besancon are coming off a 25:18 win over Paris 92 in the French League, where they are still in fifth place
  • Sola clearly beat Follo HK Damer in the Norwegian league: 39:21
  • Sola have scored 162 goals so far, the highest number of all 16 teams in the group phase

GROUP B

CS Minaur Baia Mare (ROU) vs SG BBM Bietigheim (GER)
Saturday, 19 February, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Baia Mare book their quarter-final spot if they beat already-qualified Bietigheim; a draw or a defeat will make them wait for the result of the other group match on Sunday
  • one team that competed at the EHF Finals Women last season will miss the quarter-final this season: either hosts Baia Mare of champions Nantes
  • Baia Mare have conceded 154 goals in the group phase; only Hungarian side Vaci NKSE had more goals scored against them
  • only Sola in group A (162) scored more goals than Bietigheim (160) so far
  • Baia Mare suffered their biggest defeat in Europe in the reverse fixture in Germany (39:20) but have lost only once in seven home games against German teams

Les Neptunes de Nantes (FRA) vs MKS Zaglebie Lubin (POL)
Sunday, 20 February, 14:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Nantes will know at the start of their match if they still have a chance to reach the quarter-final and, if so, what result they need
  • Nantes (on four points) can only advance if Baia Mare (five points) have dropped one or two points against Bietigheim the day before
  • If Nantes and Baia Mare end up with the same number of points, the French side will go through thanks to the better head-to-head comparison
  • the reigning champions have already lost more games this season – three – than in their title-winning campaign: two
  • Lubin have so far failed to win an away match in France in any European competition
20220218 ELW Nantes Placzek Quote
We know that this is a really important game for us. We are aware that we have to win if we want to think about qualifying for the quarter-final. I think the key to our success will be a strong defence game.
Adrianna Placzek
Les Neptunes de Nantes goalkeeper

GROUP C

Magura Cisnadie (ROU) vs Herning-Ikast Handbold (DEN)
Saturday 19 February, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • Herning-Ikast boast a perfect record of five wins from as many matches and are certain to finish top of the group
  • third-ranked Magura still have a chance to advance but even a win against Herning-Ikast do not guarantee them a quarter-final ticket
  • Magura need to earn more points than Storhamar (visiting Lada) to go through; if they finish level, Storhamar have the tiebreaker
  • Magura have won both home encounters in the current group stage: 33:28 against Storhamar and 27:24 against Lada
  • Herning won the reverse fixture 31:28, when Emma Friis scored eight goals

Handball Club Lada (RUS) vs Storhamar Handball Elite (NOR)
Sunday 20 February, 14:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • an emphatic win against Magura lifted Storhamar to the second position with four points
  • a victory at Lada will secure Storhamar a spot in the quarter-final, but they may go through even when they fail to win
  • Lada lost all four matches they played; the match against Magura was cancelled and Lada were awarded a 10:0 win
  • Lada still have a minimal chance to go through, but only if Magura have lost to Herning-Ikast on Saturday; in that case, Lada must beat Storhamar by at least eight goals to advance
  • Storhamar won the reverse match against Lada by five goals: 34:29      

GROUP D

Viborg HK (DEN) vs Chambray Touraine Handball (FRA)
Saturday 19 February, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • after taking three points in two games against Valcea, Viborg secured top position in the group
  • the Danish team stay unbeaten, winning four of their five matches
  • Viborg head coach Jakob Vestergaard: “It is a slightly special match for both teams as it has no significance, but we will try to win the match so that we go undefeated through the group phase”
  • Chambray, ranked third with two points, have no chance of reaching the quarter-final
  • Viborg won the reverse fixture in France: 27:24

Váci NKSE (HUN) vs SCM Ramnicu Valcea (ROU)
Sunday 20 February, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV

  • last week, Vác ended their four-game losing run when they beat Chambray 35:29
  • Vác have no more chance of progressing, as they have just two points
  • Valcea, who will finish as runners-up regardless Sunday’s result, suffered their first defeat in the current group phase in a rescheduled match at Viborg: 31:20
  • Asma Elghaoui's 11 goals propelled Valcea to a commanding 39:29 win over Vác in round 2

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