Quarter-final action starts in Russia and Romania
The EHF European League Women, the new second-tier continental club competition, has progressed to the quarter-final, with three matches scheduled for Saturday and all will be streamed live on EHFTV.
The fourth tie, between Astrakhanochka and Siófok KC, will be played as a double-header in Hungary next week.
Two of Saturday’s matches take place in Russia, as Handball Club Lada face Herning-Ikast Handbold, and HC Zvezda host Nantes Atlantique Handball.
A Romanian derby is also on the cards, with HC Dunarea Braila trying to rewrite history against one of the biggest favourites of the competition, CS Minaur Baia Mare, a team that Braila failed to win against in the past eight years.
QUARTER-FINAL, LEG 1
HC Dunarea Braila (ROU) vs CS Minaur Baia Mare (ROU)
Saturday, 27 March, 14:00 CET, live on EHFTV
- three Braila players – right wing Aneta Udristioiu (44 goals) and backs Marina Dmitrovic (43) and Elena Dache (36) – are in the top 10 of the competition’s goal scorers list
- four Braila players – Udristioiu, Gabriella Szucs, Madalina Zamfirescu and Bianca Tiron – played for Baia Mare in the past
- Baia Mare coach Costica Buceschi was at the helm of Braila between 2015 and 2017
- Braila failed to beat Baia Mare in their past 12 duels since March 2013, with Baia Mare winning the latest confrontation 26:19 last November
- in the past 11 years, Baia Mare won 12 of the 18 duels, opposed to Braila’s four wins
Handball Club Lada (RUS) vs Herning-Ikast Handbold (DEN)
Saturday 27 March, 14:00 CET, live on EHFTV
- last season, the clubs met in the EHF Cup group phase and exchanged away wins; ultimately both sides reached the quarter-final
- this year, Lada struggled in the group phase but squeezed into the quarter-final following a win against MKS Perla Lublin in the last match
- Herning-Ikast were dominant in group B, winning five of their six matches and finishing on top with 10 points
- the Danish team defeated another Russian team, Zvezda, twice in the group phase: 34:25 and 39:31
- three Lada players – Olga Fomina, Veronika Nikitina and Valeriia Kirdyasheva – helped Russia qualify for the Tokyo Olympics last week
HC Zvezda (RUS) vs Nantes Atlantique Handball (FRA)
Saturday 27 March, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV
- Nantes finished first in group B while Zvezda finished second of group A
- Nantes lost 32:29 to another Russian team, Lada, in the group phase
- Norwegian left back Mari Finstad Bergum has arrived in Nantes ahead of her contract for the 2021/22 season, but she is not eligible to play in the quarter-final
- Nantes have reached a European quarter-final for the second time after 2017, when they were among the last eight teams in the EHF Cup
- Zvezda lost six of their last eight domestic and European matches, while Nantes lost three of their last four games in the French league
Herning-Ikast are very strong, there are strong players in every position. The goalkeepers are also good, consisting of a fusion of experience and youth. Therefore, it will be very difficult to play. But it simply cannot be otherwise, it is already the quarter-final! And if we want to go further, then we need to squeeze the maximum out of ourselves.