Veszprem and Nexe start the knockout stage with away matches
Three participants of the SEHA - Gazprom League are still part of the EHF club competitions. While Vojvodina have already reached the quarter-finals of the EHF European Cup and won the first leg against Velenje, Telekom Veszprem and Nexe start their knockout stages in the Machineseeker EHF Champions League and EHF European League with away matches this week.
Machineseeker EHF Champions League
Never before in their long history of EHF competitions, Telekom Veszprem have duelled with their arch rivals Pick Szeged on the international stage - now the time has come to have this All-Hungarian duel in the play-offs of the Machineseeker EHF Champions League. Veszprem were third ranked in group A below PSG and Magdeburg, while Szeged finished sixth ranked in group B. In the last two seasons, Szeged had beaten Veszprem in the Hungarian league finals in 2021 and 2022 - so now the time seems to be right for revenge on the Champions League level. Veszprem play their 28th EHF Champions League season and made it 20 times at least to the quarter-finals and seven times to the final destination Cologne, while Pick Szeged never made it to the semi-finals in 21 CL seasons.
Veszprem went separate ways with Serbian Petar Nenadic, who joined Paris Saint-Germain. His replacement is French star Nedim Remili, who arrived from Kielce and will play his first international matches for his new club now. The winner of this All-Hungarian play-off pairing will face Industria Kielce in the quarter-finals.
Wednesday, 22 March (18:45 CET) PICK Szeged vs Telekom Veszprem
EHF European League
A current and a former participant of the SEHA - Gazprom League duel in the Last 16 of the EHF European League: Nexe were part of the SEHA Final 4 in 2022, while Motor were third-ranked in the 2021 edition of the final tournament. The Ukrainian champions, who found their new home in Germany and play second Bundesliga division, had finished fourth in group D - thanks to winning the group “final” at Macedonian side and SEHA - Gazprom League participant Eurofarm Pelister.
Nexe played a dominant group phase and secured the first position in group C by finally winning at Sporting CP at Lisbon, Portugal, winning eight of ten group matches. And Nexe proved their strong form by winning two of their last three matches in the SEHA - Gazprom League against Vojvodina and Eurofarm Pelister. The team of Branko Tamse first travel to Dusseldorf and have their home match next week. The overall winner of this pairing will face the winner of the matches Goppingen (GER) vs Valur (ISL) for the ticket to the final tournament in Flensburg in the quarter-finals.
Tuesday, 21 March (18:45 CET): Motor - Nexe
EHF European Cup
In the first leg of the European Cup quarter-finals, Vojvodina managed to turn the match against Slovenian rivals Gorenje Velenje around in the final stages. Velenje had started by a 4:0 run, were ahead 17:14 at the break and even 30:28 with five minutes left, before the Serbian side re-started their engines and took a 31:30 victory. Slovenian Gregor Ocvirk netted twice to level the result, Zivan Pesic scored the winner’s strike with five seconds to go. This win keeps Vojvodina’s hopes for making it to the semi-finals alive before the second leg at Velenje. Vojvodina’s best scorer was Milos Grozdanic with seven goals. If the team from Novi Sad proceed, they will face the winner of the quarter-final duels Alingsas HK (Sweden) vs Dukla Praha (Czech Republic). Alingsas won the first leg 39:33.
Second leg: Saturday, 25 March (18:00 CET) Gorenje Velenje - Vojvodina