BK-46 upset titleholders Nærbø in race to Last 16

EHF / Sergey Nikolaev

The EHF European Cup Men 2022/23 round 3 opened on Saturday and Sunday with 13 first-leg matches. Most remarkable result was reigning champions Nærbø IL going down 28:26 in the Finnish town of Karis against local side BK-46.

  • BK-46 led by six goals at half-time (15:9), but goalkeeper Halvo Nærland, who finished the game with a 41% save rate, kept the titleholders in the race for the Last 16
  • Wacker Thun's goalkeeper Marc Winkler also did well, making 19 saves (46% efficiency) and helping the Swiss side to beat Olympiacos SFP (GRE) 24:22
  • two Austrian sides lost their home matches by two goals: HC Fivers WAT Margareten lost 35:33 to RD Riko Ribnica from Slovenia, and Förthof UHK Krems 27:29 against Serbian side Vojvodina
  • experienced side RK Gorenje Velenje (SLO) have a good chance of progressing after beating the Serbian side RK Partizan at home, 28:20
  • 13 second-leg games and three double-headers are scheduled for next weekend, with matches being played between 9 and 11 December

AEK powered by Stipe Mandalinic

While the defending champions Nærbø had to suffer a two-goal defeat in the first leg, the 2021 EHF European Cup Men winners AEK Athens HC achieved a better result.

Playing at home against Swedish opponents Alingsås HK, the Greek side claimed a 32:27 victory, which gives them some cushion ahead of the return leg. Notably, Croatian left back Stipe Mandalinic made a special impact on Sunday, scoring 11 goals – nearly a third of his team's tally.

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