Antalya win EHF European Cup
The Turkish side Antalya Konyaalti BSK have become the first winners of a European trophy during the 2022/23 season.
Following a six-goal defeat in the first leg at their Spanish rivals Club Balonmán Atlético Guardes, the Turkish side Antalya Konyaalti BSK needed a strong comeback, and a 33:20 victory at home secured them the EHF European Cup Women title.
FINAL, SECOND LEG
Antalya Konyaalti BSK (TUR) vs Club Balonmán Atlético Guardes (ESP) 33:20 (16:7)
First leg: 17:23. Antalya won 50:43 on aggregate.
- Antalya opened a 6:2 lead by minute nine and went on to dominate, leading by nine goals already at half-time
- their goalkeeper Sevilay Öcal Imamoglu stood like a wall, boasting a 57 per cent efficiency (eight saves) in the first half. Overall, she stopped 12 balls for a 42.6 per cent save rate
- Atlético were unable to hit back after the restart, as Antalya's lead reached double digits at 19:9 already in the 37th minute
- the Turkish side scored almost twice as many goals as in the first leg – 33 compared to 17. Sanja Premovic became their top scorer with nine goals
- Sandra Santiago, Atlético’s best scorer in the competition, added seven goals to her tally and ended the season with 69 goals
A historic day for Turkish handball
The team from Antalya wrote history, as they became the first ever Turkish winners of any European club competition.
In the past, women's teams from Türkiye reached the final of the EHF Challenge Cup – the predecessor of the EHF European Cup Women – three times, but lost each time. Muratpasa Belediyesi BSK were defeated by French sides Mios Biganos and H.A.C.Handball in 2011 and 2012 respectively, while Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK came up short against Spain's Rocasa Gran Canaria in 2016.
And now Konyaalti, coached by Birol Ünsal, managed to win the trophy in their debut European season. After beating Greece’s A.E.S.H.Pylea, HC Galychanka Lviv from Ukraine, Portugal’s Sport Lisboa e Benfica, fellow Turks Izmir BSB SK and Slovakian side MKS IUVENTA Michalovce in the previous rounds, Antalya completed their fairytale by defeating Atlético in the final.
Photo © Antalya Konyaalti BSK
We broke new ground for Turkish handball. My friends gave everything they got, we played amazing. May the cup be a gift to all Turkish women. We crossed the fear wall. In the past, we were the ones who lost the finals. From now on, no-one will think they can beat Turkish teams in Turkey anymore.