Antalya need strong comeback on home court

EHF / Sergey Nikolaev

In the first leg of the EHF European Cup Women final, Club Balonmán Atlético Guardes were dominant at home in Spain and defeated their Turkish rivals Antalya Konyaalti BSK by six goals, 23:17.

While the Spanish side now look like the favourites, Antalya hope to improve their performance at home in Türkiye and try to take a revenge in the return leg on Sunday.

Antalya Konyaalti BSK (TUR) vs Club Balonmán Atlético Guardes (ESP)
Sunday 7 May, 19:00 CEST, live on EHFTV 

  • the Turkish side are still unbeaten at home in their maiden European season, winning six of seven matches in Antalya and sharing spoils with Sport Lisboa e Benfica in the Last 16 (35:35)
  • in turn, Atlético won both matches away from their home court in the tournament, beating Portugal’s Madeira Andebol SAD in the quarter-final (30:26) and fellow Spanish side ATTICGO BM Elche in the semi-final, 23:22
  • Sandra Santiago, who netted seven times last Sunday, consolidated her position as Atlético’s top scorer in the current tournament. Now she has 62 goals
  • Alena Ikhneva is Antalya’s best scorer with 65 goals, including five in the first-leg encounter in Pontevedra
  • on Wednesday, Atlético drew 28:28 with Rocasa Gran Canaria in the first quarter-final of the Spanish league
  • Antalya have already progressed to the semi-finals of the Turkish league, where they will face Izmir BSB SK on 19 and 23 May

Atlético rely on solid defence

"Games are won on defence," Atlético’s Sandra Santiago told eurohandball.com in an interview before the first-leg match. And the game in Pontevedra proved that the Portuguese back was right: the Spanish side conceded only 17 goals, and just seven in the second half, which was a key factor in their victory.

If Atlético put on a similarly solid defensive performance in Antalya, their Turkish rivals will have no chance of taking revenge, and in that case the Spanish side will certainly lift their maiden European trophy.

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