History to be written in the quarter-finals
The Last 16 of the VELUX EHF Champions League is behind us and only eight teams remain in the road to the European title in Cologne.
Two teams wrote new chapters in their history by reaching the quarter-finals, while familiar giants had to say goodbye to the competition for now.
This and more in this week’s talking points:
Historic times for Nantes
HBC Nantes made history by reaching the quarter-finals for the first time after eliminating Meshkov Brest.
An eight-goal victory in the first match was a crucial factor as the teams drew in the second leg, but Nantes went through on aggregate 60:52.
That means we have not seen the last of Nantes wing Dominik Klein, who is ending his career after this season.
And out of the eight teams now remaining; three of them are French.
Nantes is now up against Skjern Handbold in the quarter-finals; another team that has made history.
Also a new chapter for Skjern
Like previously mentioned, Skjern are also making history by reaching the quarter-finals for the first time ever.
The Danes reached the Last 16 for the first time in 14 years, and eliminated the Hungarian giants Telekom Veszprém HC.
Skjern are also the first Danish club to have gone this far in the competition since 2012, while Veszprém will miss out of the VELUX EHF Champions League FINAL4 for the first time since the 2012/2013 season.
Skjern or Nantes; it‘s clear that we will write yet another chapter in the FINAL4 history this season.
Barcelona not used to an early exit
After being only one point from going directly to the quarter-finals from Group A, FC Barcelona Lassa are out after being beaten by Montpellier HB, 56:55 on aggregate.
After having mentioned two clubs making history, the news are not as positive from the Catalan side, as Barcelona had previously only missed the VELUX EHF FINAL4 twice in the last nine seasons.
Meanwhile, Montpellier is among the last eight for the second consecutive time and will next be up against SG Flensburg-Handewitt in the battle for the FINAL4 ticket.
[@ehfcl]@mhbofficiel est en QUART DE FINALE ! En perdant au @FCBhandbol (30-28), Montpellier réalise l'exploit se sortir le grand Barça et de se qualifier pour les quarts de finale de Ligue des champions😍 pic.twitter.com/RSTuEvl4X6— Montpellier Handball (@mhbofficiel) March 31, 2018
PSG and Vardar return to the stage
In the next stage of the competition we will see return for group winners HC Vardar and Paris Saint-Germain Handball, as they re-enter the stage after having gone straight to the quarter-finals.
Reigning champions Vardar will take on THW Kiel, after the German Powerhouse had the upper hand against MOL-Pick Szeged 56:50 on aggregate.
Meanwhile, PSG is up against PGE Vive Kielce who eliminated Rhein-Neckar Löwen.
The two teams were previously together in the group stage earlier this season. There, PSG won both legs; 33:28 at home and 30:29 in Poland in November. What will happen now?
Goodbye Last 16, hello quarter-finals
And lastly, let’s take a look at the duels in the Quarter Finals.
The first legs will be played between 18 and 22 April, the second legs between 25 and 29 April.
THW Kiel (GER) vs HC Vardar (MKD) ; PGE Vive Kielce (POL) vs Paris Saint-Germain (FRA) ; SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER) vs Montpellier HB (FRA) ; HBC Nantes (FRA) vs Skjern Håndbold (DEN)Author: Andri Yrkill Valsson / bc