Amicitia Zürich's comeback headlines crunch weekend
With the ties in qualification round 1 of the EHF European League Men 2022/23 now concluded, 10 sides have made it to the next phase of the competition, where powerhouses like SG Flensburg-Handewitt and Montpellier HB await.
The biggest comeback in this weekend's second leg matches came from GC Amicitia Zürich, who erased an eight-goal gap against Górnik Zabrze, which saw the Swiss side take an outstanding 51:50 aggregate win.
- after boasting a one-goal lead at the break, 14:13, Amicitia Zürich finished the game with an 18:10 partial score in the second half to advance
- backed by a flawless outing from goalkeeper Torbjørn Bergerud, who made 16 saves for a 50 per cent save efficiency, Kolstad Handball won 57:47 on aggregate against Drammen in the Norwegian derby
- after drawing their home match against Slovenian side RK Trimo Trebnje, IFK Kristianstad secured a 36:31 win in the second leg to make it two out of two for Swedish teams in qualification round 1 – as IK Sävehof also progressed to the next phase
- Romania had the most teams in this round of the competition, but AHC Potaissa Turda (51:79 on aggregate against Sävehof), CSM Constanta (46:49 on aggregate against Chambery) and CS Minaur Baia Mare (49:74 on aggregate against FTC) were all eliminated
- Sävehof right wing Sebastian Karlsson (19 goals) was the top scorer in qualification round 1 of the EHF European League Men. Karlsson scored four goals in Sävehof's second leg win against AHC Potaissa Turda (34:30)
- from qualification round 1, two Swedish teams and one each from Denmark, France, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Austria and Norway progressed to qualification round 2
High-profile comebacks and a powerhouse in the making
It was an action-packed weekend in the EHF European League Men, with the conclusion of qualification round 1. While several teams that boasted a big advantage from the first leg duly delivered, such as FTC or IK Sävehof, others faltered.
The highest-profile casualty was Górnik Zabrze, who truly faltered in the second half, as Adrian Blättler and Hleb Harbuz finished with a combined total of 13 goals for Amicitia Zürich. Goalkeeper Paul Bar added 13 saves for Amicitia, for a 37.5 per cent save efficiency, to conclude a superb afternoon for the Swiss side.
In their first European season, Kolstad Handball earned two wins against fellow Norwegian side Drammen. Kolstad are a powerhouse in the making and have put themselves on the map as a team to avoid in the draw for qualification round 2.
To see the full results from qualification round 1 of the EHF European League Men 2022/23, click here.