AEK and Anorthosis claim narrow home wins
Four teams remain in contention for the EHF European League Men title, and both semi-final ties are very open following the first-leg matches on Saturday.
In Greece, local side AEK Athens HC claimed a narrow win against RK Gorenje Velenje, 31:29, while in Nicosia, Sabbianco Anorthosis Famagusta also beat Ystads IF by two goals, 26:24.
- AEK were in front for most of the game, reaching a maximum lead of four goals, 31:27, three minutes from full-time
- the Greek side could have won more clearly had Velenje goalkeepers Aljaz Panjtar and Emir Taletovic not combined for 16 saves
- Anorthosis led by five goals, 21:16, midway through the second half, but Ystads managed to close the gap
- Panagiotis Karampourniotis was the top scorer of the Cypriot team, finishing the game with seven goals
- the second-leg matches in both ties will be played on Saturday 24 April
Kotanidis like a wall
For Anorthosis, who are playing their first European season since 1998/99, reaching the semi-final is already quite a milestone. However, the Cypriot team aim to proceed even further.
In the first leg against Ystads, goalkeeper Konstantinos Kotanidis was Anorthosis’ hero, as he recorded 12 saves for an impressive rate of 44 per cent.
However, a two-goal home win leaves their rivals with opportunity to turn the tables, and the Cypriot team will face a tough challenge next Saturday in Sweden.