EHF Game of the Week (Round of 16, Leg 2) Hamburg at Valladolid

Hamburg's Blazenko Lackovic and his teammates have a 6 goal cushion heading into the 2nd Leg vs Valladolid

The Round of 16 concludes this weekend and based on the first leg results I’ve grouped the games into 3 categories.  Handicaps (point spreads) for the matches are in parentheses.

1) All over, but for the crying

Sarajevo at Chekhov (-10.5)   (Chekhov won first leg, 31-22) (ehfTV, Thursday, 6:00 PM CET)
Kolding at Kiel (-9.5) (Kiel won first leg, 36-29) (Saturday)
Chambery at Ciudad Real (-8.5) (Ciudad Real won first leg, 27-24) (Saturday)

Sarajevo and Kolding lost handedly at home.  If either side overcomes these huge deficits from the first leg it would be an upset of epic proportions.  Chambery kept the score respectable in France, but beating Ciudad Real in Spain by 4 goals is too much to ask.

2) Victory on the road is feasible, but not likely

Zagreb at R-N L (-3.5) (R-N L won first leg, 31-28) (ehfTV, Thursday, 7:00 PM CET)
Szeged at Flensburg (-4.5) (Flensburg won first leg, 27-26) (ehfTV, Sunday, 7:30 PM CET)

 Zagreb and Szeged lost close matches at home so it’s conceivable that these sides could return the favor with victories in Germany.  Szeged is the more likely of the two to pull off the upset as they just lost by 1 in Hungary.

3) Definitely worth watching; Can these home teams overcome big deficits?

Barcelona at Veszprem (-2.5) (Barcelona won first leg, 28-21) (ehfTV, Saturday, 4:15 PM CET)
Schaffhausen at Montpellier (-7.5) (Schaffhausen won first leg, 31-26) (Sunday)
Hamburg at Valladolid (-1.5) Hamburg won first leg (28-22) (ehfTV, Sunday, 6:00 PM CET)

These 3 matches will likely prove to be the most interesting because even though the deficits are substantial the home teams will have their fans behind them.  Veszprem and Barcelona will play a repeat of last year’s quarterfinal.  A year ago Veszprem need a 6 goal turnaround, but could only muster a one goal victory.  Due to injuries, Montpellier looked all out of sorts with a makeshift backcourt that had winger Michael Guigou playing left back at times.  If Accambray is back it should be an easy victory.  If not, the world’s best player, Nikola Karabatic, will need to step forward and prove it. 

The EHF match of the week, live and with English language commentary, pits Hamburg and Valladolid.  Valladolid led the first leg 15-11 at halftime, but could only muster 7 goals in the second half and let Hamburg tag on some extra goals in the closing minutes.  Still that first half performance in Germany should give them some hope that they can do something similar at home.

The match is at 6:00 PM (Central European Time), 12:00 Noon (U.S. East Coast) on Sunday, 3 April. 

Live Broadcast link:

On Demand broadcast at ehfTV:

There is also a televised tape delayed broadcast on the MHz Network in the U.S. at 4:00 PM (U.S. East Coast) on Sunday 3 April. For information on how you can watch MHZ see this link:

(Note:  The Champions League knock out phases involves paired teams playing a home and away, 2 game series with the overall aggregate goal differential deciding who advances.  If the aggregate goal difference is 0, the next tie breaker is away goals scored.)