One trophy, two countries, three EHF Finals Women debutants

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EHF / Björn Pazen

There is guaranteed to be a new winner of the EHF European League Women this year after the conclusion of the competition’s quarter-finals, which also saw a sensational comeback victory and a clean record maintained.

The draw for the EHF Finals, taking place on Tuesday 28 March at 16:00 CEST in Graz, will determine the pairings for the four semi-finalists from two countries. But ahead of the draw event, here are more facts and figures on the second-tier competition in European women’s club handball.


0 defeats and 10 victories in 10 matches – this is the outstanding record of Ikast Handbold in the current European League season

1 - for the first time in the history of the European League Men and Women and Men’s EHF Cup, the host of the final tournament is not part of the competition. The arena in Austrian city of Graz will organise the EHF Finals on 13/14 May

1 goal was the closest aggregate margin in the quarter-finals as BV Borussia 09 Dortmund beat Neptunes de Nantes 51:50

1 team – Ikast – won both legs of the quarter-finals. Thüringer HC earned a draw and a win against Sola HK while Dortmund and Nykøbing Falster Håndbold turned defeats in the first leg into tickets for Graz

1 team will have been part of all three EHF Finals: Ikast. They were part of the tournaments in Baia Mare and Viborg, but missed the finals twice, losing against Siófok KC in 2021 and eventual winners SG BBM Bietigheim in 2022. Ikast is the only team at the EHF Finals which was seeded for the group phase

1 former European League winner was eliminated in the quarter-finals: Nantes (2021). 2021 runners-up Siófok, the last winners of the Women’s EHF Cup in 2019, were also knocked out

1 participant of the 2022 EHF Finals is still part of the competition: third-placed Ikast; winners SG BBM Bietigheim played in the EHF Champions League, finalists Viborg HK were eliminated in qualification and CS Minaur Baia Mare did not qualify for the European League.

1 - Bietigheim was the first-ever German team to win the trophy in the second-tier women’s competition

1 - for the first time in the new competition, Romania is not represented by a semi-finalist, and Germany for the first time is represented by two teams

2 countries represent the four semi-finalists: Denmark (Ikast and Nykøbing) and Germany (Thüringer and Dortmund). In 2022, two Danish teams also made it to the EHF Finals: Ikast and Viborg

2 matches since the start of the group phase ended in draws, both involving Thüringer: 32:32 at Valcea, then 35:35 at Sola in the first leg of the quarter-finals

2 of the four teams have won European Cup competitions before: Ikast (under their previous names FC Midtjylland and Ikast-Bording) won the EHF Cup in 2002 and 2011 and the Cup Winners’ Cup in 2004 and 2015; Dortmund won the Challenge Cup in 2003

2 teams made it from the first qualification round to the EHF Finals: Thüringer HC and Nykøbing

2 different nations and clubs were the previous winners of the European League: Nantes (France, 2021) and Bietigheim (Germany, 2022)

3 of four clubs at the EHF Finals 2023 have previously been part of a final tournament in any EHF women’s competition: Nykøbing, Dortmund and Thüringer

3 of eight quarter-finals ended with a gap of 10 goals – Ikast vs Siófok (30:20, 31:21) and the second leg between Dortmund and Nantes (32:22). Two matches ended with a gap of nine goals – Nantes vs Dortmund, 28:19, and Nykøbing vs Valcea, 38:29. Only five of 48 group matches ended with a gap of 10 or more goals. Twelve goals was the biggest margin in the group phase, when Besancon won 41:29 at Molde and when Nykøbing beat Debrecen 34:22

3 of eight quarter-finals ended with 60 or more goals, after 15 of the 48 group matches

4 – or all – group winners clinched their berth for the EHF Finals

4 players scored 16 goals each in the quarter-finals: Annika Lott (Thüringer), Iryna Glybko, Jovana Kovacevic (both SCM Ramnicu Valcea) and Elma Halilcevic (Nykøbing)

6 nations were represented by the eight quarter-finalists: Germany and Denmark were the only ones with two teams, and all of them proceeded

6 of eight quarter-final matches ended with home victories. Ikast took the only away win at Siófok, THC took a point at Sola. The overall balance since the start of the group phase is 37 home wins in 56 matches

9 goals was Dortmund’s deficit after the first leg at Nantes (19:28), but then the former German champions struck back and took a 32:22 win on home ground

9 teams in total – including the three 2023 debutants Nykøbing, Dortmund and Thüringer – have been or are part of the EHF Finals Women. The others are Nantes, Siófok, Baia Mare, Bietigheim and Viborg

20 goals was the final aggregate margin between Ikast and Siófok in the quarter-finals (61:41)

38 goals was the lowest combined score in the group phase, when Siófok beat Besancon 20:18. The lowest combined score in the quarter-finals was 47 goals in the match Nantes vs Dortmund (28:19)

60 goals have been scored by Iryna Glibko (Valcea) since the start of the group phase, followed by Annika Lott (Thüringer, 56 goals) and Nathalie Hagman (Nantes, 54). As Valcea and Nantes are out of the competition, there is a chance for Lott to take the overall top scorer award, chased by Elma Halilcevic (Nykøbing) who is currently on 51 goals

+62 is Ikast’s goal difference after the group phase and quarter-finals – an average winning margin of 7.75 goals

67 goals were scored by Nykøbing in the quarter-finals, ahead of THC (62) and Ikast (61). 51 goals in two matches was enough for Dortmund to proceed

188 goals were conceded by Ikast (23.5 goals per game in average), the best defence of the four teams still in the competition

250 goals were scored by both Ikast and Thüringer since the start of the group phase, the best attacking performances

452 goals were scored in the eight quarter-final matches, 50 less than in in 2021/22 (502) and 13 less than in 2020/21 (465)

3,142 goals were scored since the start of the group phase, including 2,690 goals in the group phase, 28 less than at the same point of the previous season (3,170)

4,664 fans saw the quarter-final matches of Valcea and Nykøbing – 2,239 in Romania, 2,425 in Denmark

12,675 fans in total saw the eight quarter-final matches

Rankings of the four EHF finals participants

Points since the start of the group phase:
16: Ikast Handbold (12 in the group phase + 4 in the quarter finals)
12: Thüringer HC (9 + 3) - plus 8 points in 4 qualification matches
12: BV Borussia 09 Dortmund (10 + 2) - plus 4 points in 2 qualification matches
10: Nykøbing Falster Håndbold (8 + 2) - plus 7 points in 4 qualification matches

Goals since the start of the group phase:
250: Ikast (189 in the group phase + 61 in the quarter-finals)
250: Thüringer (188 + 62)
239: Nykøbing (172 + 67)
227: Dortmund (176 + 51)

Conceeded goals since the start of the group phase:
188: Ikast (147 in the group phase + 41 in the quarter-finals)
205: Dortmund (154 + 51)
212: Nykøbing (151 + 61)
221: Thüringer (162 + 59)

Goal difference since the start of the group phase:
+62: Ikast
+29: Thüringer
+27: Nykøbing
+22: Dortmund

Overall top scorers since the start of the group phase:
60 goals: Iryna Glibko (Valcea)
56 goals: Annika Lott (Thüringer HC)
54 goals: Nathalie Hagman (Neptunes de Nantes)

Photos © Copenhagen by Pede; Wolfgang Stummbillig; Frederik Dahl, Hamistolen; Hans Lie

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