Giants to clash in Champions League Women quarters

Nikoleta Eleftheriadou (Plympiacos Piraeus) – @LuigiMariani

After days of intense and super-exciting action in the second qualification round, the draws for the Champions League Women’s quarter-finals and the Euro Cup Women’s preliminary round have been made. 

In the most anticipated game in Champions League Women, title-holder Olympiacos and Spain’s new powerhouse Mataro will face off for the Final 4 berth. These two teams have all the quality to play the final, however, now one of them will be eliminated and in the new playing format there is no ‘escape route’ for the QF losers.

While in recent years the LEN Trophy Final Four offered some consolation, now losing the quarters means the end of the road. While Mataro stunned last season’s runner-up Sabadell to finish atop in the previous round, Roma’s last-grasp goal, which saved their game with Olympiacos to a tie, set up this magnificent encounter, as the Greeks dropped to the second place in the group, behind Roma, and were drawn against a group-winner. Apparently, against the strongest one perhaps.

Sabadell’s clash with Roma may also be worth headlines next February – again, both sides are well equipped to play in the F4, but one of them needs to go.

Record winner, 8-time champion Orizzonte is to play with Glyfada which stunned last season’s F4 participant UVSE in Budapest last Sunday. The third Spanish side Mediterrani meet Dunaujvaros, the surprise qualifier – the young Hungarians remained unbeaten in the company of Orizzonte and F4 bronze medallist Padova, and now may even look further.

Teams failed to make the cut in the first and the second qualification rounds were drawn into four groups of four in the prelims in the Euro Cup Women. Here sides seeded first and second – which played the second QR in the Champions League – are the favourites to clinch the top two spots and a place in the quarters.

Interestingly, there will be a group of France versus Hungary, two clubs apiece from these nations were drawn together – last weekend we saw something similar, there the Spaniards knocked out the Magyars, now UVSE and FTC are the favourites to go through.

Champions League Women, Quarter-finals

NC Glyfada iRepair (GRE) v Ekipe Orizzonte (ITA) 

Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) v Assolim CN Mataro (ESP) 

Astralpool Sabadell (ESP) v SIS Roma (ITA) 

CE Mediterrani (ESP) v Dunaujvarosi VC (HUN)

Playing dates: 11 and 25 February

Euro Cup Women, Preliminary Round

Group A (Piraeus): Tigra ZF Eger (HUN), Ethnikos Piraeus (GRE), Olympic Nice Natation (FRA), Sirens ASC Malta (MLT)

Group B (Mulhouse): UVSE Budapest (HUN), FTC Telekom Budapest (HUN), Mulhouse WP (FRA), Grand Nancy Aquatique (FRA)

Group C (Lille): NC Vouliagmeni (GRE), ZVL 1886 (NED), Lille UC (FRA), Spandau 04 Berlin (GER)

Group D (Pacos de Ferreira): Antenore Plebiscito Padova (ITA), ZV De Zaan (NED), CA Terrassa (ESP), CA Pacense (POR)

Playing dates: 13-15 January