Sola to chase big deficit against Baia Mare
While three group winners claimed away victories in the first leg of the EHF European League Women 2021/22 quarter-final last week, Sola HK suffered an eight-goal defeat at CS Minaur Baia Mare.
Now the Norwegian side hope to make a strong comeback in the return leg at home on Sunday, but if Baia Mare defend their advantage, they will reach the EHF Finals Women for the second straight season.
The same would apply to Herning-Ikast Håndbold if they eliminate SCM Ramnicu Valcea.
The EHF Finals draw will take place on Thursday 7 April at 14:00 CEST at the EHF office in Vienna.
QUARTER-FINALS, SECOND LEG
SG BBM Bietigheim (GER) vs ES Besancon Feminin (FRA) - first leg 29:23
Saturday 2 April, 16:00 CEST, live on EHFTV
- in the first leg, Bietigheim extended their winning run in the competition, claiming their ninth straight victory
- Julia Maidhof stood out for the German side, scoring 10 goals from 13 attempts
- Besancon's goalkeepers Sakura Hauge and Roxanne Frank made 16 saves combined, yet their team were defeated by six goals
- while Bietigheim enjoyed a perfect record in their home matches in the group phase, Besancon lost two of three away encounters, beating only Lokomotiva Zagreb
- the German team also maintain a 100 per cent record in their domestic league, with 38 points in 19 games; Besancon are fifth-placed in the French league
Herning-Ikast Håndbold (DEN) vs SCM Ramnicu Valcea (ROU) - first leg 39:33
Saturday, 2 April, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV
- in all their checkered history in European competitions, Valcea had not conceded 39 goals at home before the first leg against Herning-Ikast
- the Danish powerhouse is the team with the largest number of goals scored in the competition so far, 232 in seven matches, an average of 33.1 per game
- the Romanian side has won only once in their last seven games against Danish opponents, against Odense Håndbold in the EHF Champions League 2020/21
- Valcea won two of their three away games in the group phase, but lost by a big margin (31:20) against another Danish opponent, Viborg HK
- Herning-Ikast are the team with the largest number of wins in the two-year history of the EHF European League Women: 14 out of 17 games
Viborg HK (DEN) vs Storhamar Handball Elite (NOR) - first leg 33:31
Sunday 3 April, 14:00 CEST, live on EHFTV
- the first leg featured tight fight, and while Storhamar led 19:18 at half-time, ultimately Viborg snatched a two-goal win
- Viborg's left wing Laerke Nolsoe and Storhamar's centre back Anniken Obaidli were joint top scorers of that encounter with nine goals
- Moa Hogdahl, who scored eight goals for Viborg, is likely to miss the rest of the season due to a toe injury
- Viborg coach Jakob Vestergaard: "The fact that we won in Storhamar puts in a really good position for the second match. Playing the EHF Finals is a huge goal for us, and I feel that the team has the quality to play in the top of the European League."
- Viborg, who joined the competition in the group phase, remain unbeaten, with five wins and two draws
- Storhamar lost two of their three away games in the group phase, but a 30:25 win against Handball Club Lada saw them reach the quarter-final
Sola HK (NOR) vs CS Minaur Baia Mare (ROU) - first leg 32:40
Sunday, 3 April, 16:00 CET, live on EHFTV
- the first leg marked Sola’s first loss of the season in this competition
- Baia Mare had not scored 40 goals before in a European game and will hope to maintain the rhythm in the second leg
- Baia Mare have won only once in five away games in two seasons of the EHF European League Women: in last season’s quarter-finals against fellow Romanian side HC Dunarea Braila
- Sola won all the three home games this season by an average of 6.33 goals per game, but will need to do even better on Sunday to reach the EHF Finals
- Baia Mare could be one of the two teams, alongside Herning-Ikast Håndbold, who make the EHF Finals Women for the second edition in a row