Cologne will once again bring the best handball players in the world, and in two action-packed days we will see some fantastic matches. The Lanxess Arena will surely be completely full, despite the fact that no German team has made it to the Final 4. Barca Lassa, Telekom Veszprem, PGE Vive Kielce and of course, SEHA champions Vardar will fight for the most prestigious title in European handball.
Saturday, 1st of June, 18:00h
2nd Semi-final Barca Lassa – Vardar
The second semi-final of the Final 4 will be spectacular. After Veszprem and Kielce lock horns to open the action in Cologne, Vardar will look to beat Barca for the first time since 2017. The Spanish giants are the favourites, after they played an incredible season in Europe.
However, everyone still remembers the legendary Final 4 from 2017, when these two teams met in the semi-final, and Luka Cindric decided the match with a last-second goal. Of course, Vardar went on to win it, which gives some of their players incredible experience. Karacic, Dibirov, Shishkarev, Moraes, Cupic and Stoilov were all crucial pieces of the 2017 team that conquered Europe. This is Vardar’s third consecutive appearance in Cologne, but it is the first one for coach Parrondo since taking over the Skopje team.
Barca Lassa had a fantastic season, and they also managed to defeat Vardar in both encounters this season in Group A, 34:26 and 30:26. It is interesting to see that all four Final 4 participants were a part of the very difficult Group A. The road to Cologne was also less challenging for Barca Lassa, since they only had one opponent on the way to Final 4, securing comfortable victories against Cologne. Vardar, on the other hand, had to eliminate PPD Zagreb and later MOL-Pick Szeged.
The in-form trio Karacic-Skube-Kristopans will be relieved to see Christian Dissinger again, who returned to the courts after an injury sustained at the SEHA Final 4. Dissinger may well be the key rotation player, especially knowing that two matches will be played in two days. Two difficult and interesting matches are ahead, and there is no doubt we will see some incredible handball.