If you haven’t already done so locate the a full replay of the Fuechse Berlin v Barcelona match and don’t answer the phone for the next two hours. Your life will be much better for it.
Having done that, let’s look over this weekend’s results in the men’s and women’s Champions League – and also see the fixtures for this week’s matches. Starting with the men …
The leadership of Group A switched hands following the draw between Chekhovskiye Medvedi and HSV Hamburg – their second tie in the group stage. The lack of winner opened the way for SG Flensburg-Handewitt who took advantage by overwhelming Partizan Belgrade. Those three have qualified. The fourth place is between Ademar Leon of Spain and Montpellier. In their head-to-head it was the Spaniards who emerged victorious 30:28. Both teams now sit on five points with two matches remaining.
Group B remains tight with only the super soaraway leaders of MKB Veszprém and the annoyingly consistent THW Kiel assured of qualification. They both won again at the weekend – by a combined margin of 21 goals. Atletico Madrid did their qualification chances no harm at all with a win over Celje Pivovarna Laško – realistically with 8 points they are now through. The other three can scrap amongst themselves for the final qualifying berth.
Two teams in Group C have a solitary win to their name but at least one of those, Chambery, can also say they have known only victories in 2013. They will need two more wins and a lot of luck to overturn the team they beat, Bjerringbro-Silkeborg of Denmark, but at least they are still alive. Gorenje, Metalurg and Vive Targi Kielce are already through.
In Group D we had the aforementioned belter between Fuechse Berlin and the Catalan Supermen. It ended with victory for the Germans. Somehow. Elsewhere, Croatia Zagreb have appealed the result in their defeat to Dinamo Minsk based on a player returning prematurely in the 2 minutes and Kadetten Schahffhausen smashed Pick Szeged. It’s one from Zagreb, Szeged and Schaffhausen for the final spot.
We’re into the Main Round (Second Group Stage) in the women’s Champions League. In Group A, the powerhouses are looking powerful. Larvik have now won two from two and this time out edged a tight one in Buducnost. Gyori Audi had an occasionally tough and always noisy game in Denmark in Randers but took the points. It’s looking good for Gyori and Larvik to progress.
Similarly in Group B, two teams have two wins: Krim Ljubljana beat Romanian opponents Oltchim Ramnicu Vâlcea 28:24 and Ferencvaros (they’re called FTC Rail Cargo Hungaria for sponsorship kicks) edged a very close one (but not defensively great) against the Russians Zvezda Zvenigorod.
This week’s fixtures which will all be covered live (and legal) by ehftv.com – over on Premier Sports it looks like ice hockey is being shown when the match of the week would be on so we’re internet-only in the UK – are below:
Wednesday 6pm (UK): SG Flensburg-Handewitt – Reale Ademar Leon
Thursday 7pm – Kadetten Schaffhausen v Fuechse Berlin
Saturday 3pm – St Petersburg v Metalurg
Saturday 3.15pm – Barcelona v Croatia Zagreb
Saturday 3.30pm – Celje Pivovarna Lasko – HCM Constanta
Saturday 4pm – Vive Targi Kielce – Chambery
Saturday 4.15pm – Pick Szeged v Dinamo Minsk
Saturday 6pm – Partizan Belgrade – HSV Hamburg
Sunday 4pm – Atletico Madrid v IK Savehof
Sunday 4pm – Bjerringbro-Silkeborg – Gorenje Velenje
Sunday 6pm – THW Kiel – MKB Veszprem (Match of the Week – Commentary in English)
Sunday 6pm – Montpellier – Chekhovskiye Medvedi
Saturday 4.45pm – Larvik v Gyori Audi
Saturday 5pm – Oltchim Ramnicu Valcea v Zvezda Zvenigorod
Sunday 2.15pm – Krim Liubljani v Ferencvaros Rail Cargo Hungaria
Sunday 6pm – Randers v Buducnost
Without that much fanfare and with your humble blogger missing it in the excitement of the Match of the Week news the EHF have announced that all group stages matches in both the men’s and women’s Champions League tournaments will be live at ehftv.com.
The schedule for the men’s matches is confirmed (although it wasn’t up at ehftv.com when I checked) but the women’s will be determined after the results of this weekend’s qualification tournaments which sees two Brits going for Champions League glory in the same group: Holly Lam-Moores for Viborg and Kathryn Fudge for LC Bruehl. There are four places in the main group stage available – the losers have the pleasure of the EHF Cup Winners Cup.
I’ll have a preview and hopefully some idea of where to watch the women’s qualifiers up tomorrow.
The live internet schedule for the first seven weeks of the men’s EHF Champions League group stage was released this morning. It is one of the pleasures of following handball that Europe’s premier handball tournament can be watched by anybody with an internet connection and the added bonus is that one match per week gets given special status and gets commentary in English provided by the lovably bonkers Tom O’Brainnagan. In addition a sizeable number of games are streamed without commentary both via ehftv.com and Bet365’s live streaming service.
The matches to get the commentary are listed below. Unsurprisingly the matches between Kiel and Madrid will both be shown.
30 September, 5pm UK
Atletico Madrid v THW Kiel
6 October, 4.15pm UK
Pick Szeged v Kadetten Schaffhausen
14 October, 6pm UK
Montpellier v HSV Hamburg
21 October, 6pm UK
Chambery v Kielce
18 November, 5pm UK
Metalurg v Kielce
25 November, 4.15pm UK
SG Flensburg-Handewitt v HSV Hamburg
2 December, 4.15pm UK
THW Kiel v Atletico Madrid
In addition, though perhaps not as exciting is British Eurosport’s schedule. They don’t have anything planned for match days 1 and 3 and for match day 2 will be showing one match on delay at midnight on 7 October (repeated at 10am on the 8th) and for match day 4 there will be a one hour highlights package at 8am on October 22nd. All times UK.
If you want to know more about the EHF Champions League group stage itself see here.