Padova escape with strong finish

COPYRIGHT 2022 ROSARIO TURRISI

Last season’s Euro League bronze medallist Padova needed a strong 5-1 finish to beat Terrassa and book their place in the quarter-finals. At the other three tournaments the top two spots have already been booked respectively, all favourites went through.

Group A (Piraeus)

As expected, the two sides dropped from the Champions League prelims outperformed the other two which had been eliminated earlier, in the CL qualifications. Eger (HUN) had no problems to beat Sirens (MLT) 28-3, while host Ethnikos (GRE) rushed to a 3-0 lead in eight minutes then won each of the remaining three periods 4-3 against Nice (FRA). The Greeks will clash with the Hungarians for the top spot on Sunday.

Group B (Mulhouse)

It’s going to an in-house battle for the first place between the Hungarian sides of FTC and UVSE on the last day – indeed a rematch of their domestic cup final played in December. The Magyars showed no mercy against their French rivals. Satuday was no difference to Friday, now FTC downed host Mulhouse 18-5 and UVSE thrashed Grand Nancy 17-4.

Group C (Lille)

The only group – so far – where a team coming from the CL qualification round managed to upend a rival which was eliminated later in the prelims. Host Lille (FRA) soundly beat ZVL (NED) 16-7 to book their spot in the quarter-finals. They will face Vouliagmeni (GER) for the first place as the Greeks enjoyed an easy cruise (23-8) against Spandau (GER).

Group D (Pacense)

After suffering a shocking defeat against De Zaan (NED) on the opening day, Padova (ITA) played a do-or-die game with Terrassa (ESP). And for three periods it was very much the same story as a day earlier, it was tied before the last period, like against the Dutch. The final quarter unfolded differently, though – this time Padova scored five in the last eight minutes to secure its QF berth with a fine 11-7 victory. Since De Zaan broke the season’s single-game scoring record with 37 goals (it stood 33 from the CL QR) while blowing away Pacense (POR), Terrassa would need a near-miraculous 4-goal win at least against the Dutch to go through via a three-way tie.