Dominant Veszprem and lucky Nexe proceed to quarter-finals

Manuel Strlek | Telekom Veszprem

After two dominant performances in the All-Hungarian play-offs in the Machineseeker EHF Champions League, Telekom Veszprem easily proceeded to the quarter-finals, as well as Nexe did in the EHF European League. Including Vojvodina - semi-finalists in the European Cup - still three SEHA - Gazprom League teams are in the race for international trophies this season. While Nexe will duel with the German side and four times EHF Cup winners Frisch Auf Goppingen in the European League, Veszprem have a giant quarter-final ahead against Industria Kielce.

Maschineseeker EHF Champions League

The major decision, which team will make it to the quarter-finals of the Machineseeker EHF Champions League had been taken in the first leg already, but Telekom Veszprem were eager to finish the all-Hungarian play-offs with a clean record. In contrast to the 23:36 on home ground last week, Pick Szeged were much closer in the away encounter, but finally were defeated again, this times by 33:38. “We wanted to finish with a victory before the next round, so we are very happy to give our fans this victory”, said Veszprem’s right wing Gasper Marguc, who was second best scorer of his club in the second leg by seven goals after netting 11 times in the first duel. Best Veszprem's scorer was 2022 SEHA - Gazprom League Final 4 MVP Rasmus Lauge with nine goals.

After a more or less close first half, Szeged were ahead by 20:18, then Veszprem struck back with a 10:3 run for the decisive 28:23 and the deal was sealed. The team of head coach Momir Ilic now have their 21st Champions League quarter-final ahead - against Kielce. Only one of those great clubs will make to Cologne, where on 15/16 June the 30th Men’s Champions League winner will be decided. 

The remaining results of the play-offs:
Dinamo Bucuresti - THW Kiel 28:41/32:31
Orlen Wisla Plock - HBC Nantes 28:28/30:29 after penalty shoot-out
Aalborg Handbold - GOG Gudme 30:28/32:24

The pairings of the quarter-finals:
Telekom Veszprem vs Industria Kielce
Kiel vs Paris
Orlen Wisla Plock vs Magdeburg
GOG vs Barcelona.

The quarter-finals will be played on 10/11 and 17/18 May.

EHF European League

Lucky, luckier, Nexe! After the 27:23 win at Motor’s home Dusseldorf (Germany), Nexe had expected a walk in the park to their second straight European League quarter-final, but the fans at Nasice were taken on a roller-coaster ride with a happy-end for the hosts. After 30 minutes, Nexe were virtually out of the race for the quarter-finals, being down by 9:16. The reason for this unexpected result was Motor goalkeeper Gennadii Komok, who saved 50 percent of all Nexe’s shots. On the other end of the court, Dominik Kuzmanovic was the only reason, why Nexe was “only” seven goals down.

Nothing changed until minute 35, when Motor were even ahead by 24:16 - but then Nexe showed their true face. Boosted by in total eight strikes of Tomislav Severec, the hosts reduced the gap goal by goal, and when the score was 22:25, it was already enough for the team of head coach Branko Tamse. Motor did not give up, but when again Severec scored for the 26:28 in minute 57, lucky Nexe had climbed over this huge hurdle. Nexe’s upcoming opponent Goppingen beat Valur from Iceland twice in the play-offs.
The remaining results of the Last16:
Valur Rejkjavik – Frisch Auf Goppingen 29:36/31:33
Skjern – Fuchse Berlin 23:28/32:38
Benfica – SG Flensburg-Handewitt 26:39/28:33
Bidasoa Irun– Sporting CP 30:27/28:34
FTC Budapest – Montpellier Handball 30:36/29:43
Kadetten Schaffhausen– Ystads IF 38:32/27:25
Fraikin Granollers – Skanderborg-Aarhus 32:34/30:25

The pairings of the quarter-finals:
Frisch Auf Goppingen vs Nexe
Fraikin Granollers vs SG Flensburg-Handewitt
Sporting CP vs Montpellier Handball
Kadetten Schaffhausen vs Fuchse Berlin.

The quarter-finals will be played on 11 and 18 April.