AEK triumph to advance to Europe’s Challenge Cup Final
HANDBALL CHALLENGE CUP - SEMI FINAL (LEG 2)
|AEK||23 - 23||Madeira|
|(13 - 12)
(23 - 23)
(Agg. 52 - 44)
AEK’s men’s handball team defeated Portugal’s Madeira over two legs to reach the final of the EHF Challenge Cup.
After winning 29-21 away in the first leg, AEK were the clear favorites to advance from this semifinal. Although Madeira put up a good fight, the second leg would end as a 23-23 draw, sending AEK through on aggregate (52-44). Christodoulos Mylonas was the top scorer in both games, scoring eight goals in the away leg and then five in today’s home leg.
AEK are now just the third Greek team to ever advance to the final of the Challenge Cup, as Filippos Verias did so in 2003, and Diomidis Argous did so (and won) in 2012. AEK will have to wait until tomorrow to learn who their opponent in the final will be, as the second leg between AHC Potaissa Turda from Romania and IBV Vestmannaeyjar from Iceland has yet to be played. The final will also take place over two legs, beginning the weekend of May 12-13 and ending the weekend of May 19-20. Regardless of who they play against, AEK will be home for the first leg and away for the second leg.
AEK’s run to the final has been impressive to say the least. They received a bye until the round of 32, where they destroyed the British club London GD HC over two legs, 81-37. In the round of 16, the Kitrinomavri edged Turkey’s Goztepe SK, 57-52 over two legs. In the quarterfinals, AEK breezed past Luxembourg’s HC Berchem by an aggregate of 64-43. After beating Madeira in the semifinals, AEK will hope to take it one step further and win the first European trophy in club history, with their previous best result being a quarterfinal appearance in the Challenge Cup in 2011.