Round 2 off to an early start in Plzen
Qualification round 2 of the Men’s EHF Cup gets off to an early start this week. The action starts on Thursday evening in Plzen, where the Czech champions Talent M.A.T Plzen welcome Hapoel Ashdod from Israel for the first leg of a double-header.
The return match is played in the same venue on Friday afternoon, and both matches will be live on ehfTV.com.
The tie between Plzen and Hapoel Ashdod is one of two double-headers this week, the other one taking place in Lisbon on Saturday and Sunday.
In the Portuguese capital, SL Benfica will be trying to take the first step towards emulating their achievement from the 2016/17 season, when they reached the group phase.
Benfica’s first hurdle will be RK Dubrava from Croatia who have never made it any further in this competition than the third qualification round.
In their effort to get at least that far once again, Dubrava will have to overcome a Portuguese home team with prominent names such as Macedonian goalkeeper Burko Ristovski, Serbian left back Petar Djordjic and Danish line player René Toft Hansen.
Both legs of this tie will also be broadcast on ehfTV.com.
Nordic encounter in Malmö
The first part of an all-Nordic encounter takes place in Malmö on Saturday afternoon.
In Baltiska Hallen, HK Malmö welcome Selfoss from Iceland, who celebrated their European debut last season by reaching the third qualification round of the competition, just like Malmö have done in the past two years.
Malmö eliminated Spartak Moscow without much trouble in the previous round, while Selfoss are entering the competition in this round.
Both teams are characterised by having exclusively players of their own nationality in their squads and this clash of homegrown talents will be live on ehfTV.com.
Sabac is the destination for a A Serbian-Slovenian meeting on Sunday evening as RK Metaloplastika Sabac take on RK Gorenje Velenje.
As recently as the 2017/18 season, Gorenje Velenje were in the group phase of the VELUX EHF Champions League, while the 2013/14 Challenge Cup final is the most recent achievement for Metaloplastika, a club which was a powerhouse in European Handball in the 80s.
The meeting in the Zorka arena in Sabac is another of the eight EHF Cup matches live on ehfTV.com.
TEXT: Peter Bruun / cor