Antalya win Turkish derby to complete semi-final line-up
In their debut international season, Antalya Konyaalti BSK are through to the semi-finals of the EHF European Cup Women 2022/23. Antalya completed a 75:61 aggregate win over fellow Turkish side Izmir BSB SK on Sunday and will now meet MKS IUVENTA Michalovce of Slovakia for a place in the final.
The all-Turkish quarter-final between Antalya and Izmir had been postponed from its initial playing dates in February following the devasting earthquake that hit Türkiye and Syria. The first leg was played in Antalya last Wednesday, the second leg in Izmir on Sunday.
- Antalya won both legs, 39:28 at home and 36:33 away, for a clear 14-goal victory on aggregate
- Antalya put themselves in the driving seat already in the first half of the first leg, taking a 21:13 lead over Izmir
- led by nine goals from left wing Ceylan Aydemir, Antalya took an all but decisive 11-goal win in the first encounter
- backed by 800 fans in their arena, Izmir did well to stay close to Antalya in the return leg at home but lost again, this time by three goals – despite a 10-goal outing from right back Ece Sözmen
- the result put Antalya through to the semi-finals, where they play Michalovce; ATTICGO BM Elche meet Club Balonmán Atlético Guardes in the all-Spanish other semi-final; the first leg is scheduled for 18/19 March, the return leg for 25/26 March
Debutants Antalya’s European adventure continues
Playing their first season in any European club competition, Antalya are so far unstoppable. The club from the popular holiday destination in Southern Türkiye have reached the semi-finals of the EHF European Cup Women without losing a match.
They beat both Greek side A.E.S.H. Pylea and Ukrainian competitors HC Galychanka Lviv twice in double-headers in the early rounds, before earning arguably their biggest success: edging Sport e Lisboa Benfica after a 35:35 draw at home and a 33:32 win in Portugal.
The two victories over Izmir have now brought Anatalya within reach of the final, with two matches against Michalovce coming up. With centre back Yasemin Sahin (49 goals) and left back Alena Ikhneva (46) as their standout shooters, it is impossible to predict where Antalya’s successful adventure is going to end this season – if at all.