First Last 16 tickets booked as round 3 begins
IFK Skövde HK wasted no time in their double-header at home against Israeli team AS SGS Ramhat Hashron, taking a clear 72:57 aggregate win in round 3 of the EHF European Cup Men.
Meanwhile, Greek side A.C. PAOK are looking to follow in the footsteps of compatriots and 2021 champions AEK Athens, after eliminating Latvia’s ZRHK Tenax Dobele with a 57:49 aggregate score.
- Skövde’s right back, Jack Thurin, scored 14 goals in the two games against Hashron, including a 11-goal outing in the first leg
- PAOK’s 57:49 aggregate win against Tenax Dobele means that the Greek side has reached the Last 16 phase of the third-tier European competition for the first time since the 2012/13 season
- Russia's HC Victor secured a superb away win against Greek team Bianco Monte Drama 1986 in a high-scoring match; 80 goals were scored between the two sides, with Victor winning 41:39
- last year’s semi-finalists, Cyprus’ Sabbianco Anorthosis Famagusta, have a mountain to climb after losing on their home court in the first leg against Czech side HCB Karvina, 24:29
- in a Czech derby, hosts Talent tym Plzenskeho kraje secured an impressive 35:27 win against HC Robe Zubri, despite 12 goals by Zubri’s 19-year-old left back Lukas Morkovsky
Goals galore, surprising wins and everything to play for
The 80 goals scored by HC Victor and Bianco Monte Drama 1986 was the highest score in the third-tier European competition since North Macedonia’s HC Tineks Prolet Skopje beat British side Olympia HC 61:20 in round 2 of the Men’s EHF Challenge Cup in 2009/10.
Elsewhere, everything is still in play in several ties, such as the one between Russian team SGAU-Saratov and Estonian outfit Polva Serviti, after Saratov took a narrow 25:24 home win.
In another interesting tie, Turkish champions Besiktas JK enjoyed a 28:25 win against Belarusian team SKA Minsk. Meanwhile one of the most surprising wins was the one recorded by KH Besa Famgas, who beat 2017/18 Men’s EHF Challenge Cup winners, AHC Potaissa Turda, 30:28.