Brixen need strong comeback in Italian derby

EHF / Sergey Nikolaev

Round 1 of the EHF European Cup Men 2022/23 will finish this weekend with 14 matches, including six second-leg encounters and four double-headers.

In the only national derby at this stage, SSV Brixen hope for a strong comeback on Saturday after they lost the first leg against fellow Italian side Raimond Sassari, 29:24.

Brixen were already five goals down at the break (16:11) but managed to keep that margin in the second half, which could give them some confidence for the return leg at home.

  • two Balkan sides, HC Izvidac from Bosnia and Herzegovina and SPD Radnicki Kragujevac from Serbia, are also looking to bounce back at home; they both lost by two goals at HC Linz AG in Austria and HC Dukla Praha in Czech Republic, respectively
  • another team from Serbia, HC Dinamo Pancevo, have a good chance to go through after winning 30:24 at HC Dragunas Klaipeda, with the second leg in Pancevo scheduled for Saturday
  • the four double-headers are: HB Dudelange (LUX) vs Spor Toto SK (TUR); RK Slovenj Gradec (SLO) vs Maccabi Rishon Lezion (ISR); Apoel HC (CYP) vs A.E.S.H. Pylea (GRE); TJ Sokol Nove Veseli (CZE) vs Tallinn (EST)
  • IBV Vestamannaeyjar, HC Robe Zubri, and RK Gracanica reached round 2 already last weekend after winning their double-headers
  • all teams advancing will know who they are playing next, since the draw for round 2 has already been done last week

Titleholders Nærbø awaiting their opponents

In round 2, which has been scheduled for 29/30 October and 5/6 November, 51 more teams will join the race. Those teams include Norwegian side Nærbø IL, who ended their first ever continental campaign by surprisingly winning the EHF European Cup title last season.

At last week’s draw, the defending champions were paired for the round 2 with either RK Slovenj Gradec from Slovenia or Maccabi Rishon Lezion from Israel. Those teams will face each other twice in Slovenia this weekend.

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