CSM and Vardar claim pole positions in their main round groups
Following the completion of the Women’s EHF Champions League Group Matches last weekend first four teams already said farewell to the European top flight and will continue in the new Women’s EHF Cup (Vistal Gdynia, Brest Bretagne Handball, Larvik and Vipers Kristiansand).
Meanwhile, almost a ten-week long break await the dozen surviving teams before the main round action in Group 1 and 2 commences as the Women’s World Championship in Germany (1-17 December) will take place.
All main round teams have taken results and points from all their group matches games apart from those against the eliminated teams as Group A's top three teams merged with Group B's trio in Group 1 and six best teams from Groups C and D create Group 2.
The 2016 winners CSM Bucuresti and last season's silver team HC Vardar sit atop their groups with six and eight points respectively, but it is only the goal difference in Group 1 dividing CSM from the reigning champions Györi Audi ETO KC with the same number of points.
MAIN ROUND STANDINGS: With the group matches now done and dusted, 12 teams enter the Women's #ehfcl Main Round, to be played from 26 January until 11 March 2018. Here are the starting positions, with @csm_bucharest & @GyoriAudiETO leading Group 1 and @VardarZRK topping Group 2. pic.twitter.com/Jk3USRti0K— EHF Champions League (@ehfcl) November 19, 2017
German runners-up Thüringer HC are the only team with zero points on the starting grid and face a difficult but not impossible mission to reach the quarter-finals.
Already now there is much to be looking forward to in the first round of the main round stage as the group winners from the preliminary stage will take on each other. CSM, who scored most goals in the first stage (192) , will receive the best defensive side Györ (only 126 goals conceded) while Vardar will try to extend their perfect run to seven straight wins against Metz in the two top matches scheduled for 26-28 January. By the conclusion of the last round on 9-11 March all eight quarter-finalists will be confirmed.
Thüringer HC centre back Iveta Luzumova will be entering the main round as the top scorer of the competition with 50 goals followed by two more playmakers at 47 goals each - Veronica Kristiansen from FC Midtjylland and Kim Naidzinavicius from SG BBM Bietigheim.
Author: EHF / br