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Bucharest, May 25 /Agerpres/ - HC Odorhei won the men's handball Challenge Cup after defeating on Sunday Portuguese team Liberty Seguros ABC/UMinho, 32-25 (18-15) in a second-leg home match.
In the first leg, the Portuguese team won 32-28.
This is the first time when HC Odorhei win a European trophy, becoming the third Romanian team to win the Challenge Cup in the last couples of years, after Steaua (2006) and UCM Resita (2007, 2008, 2009).
For the Portuguese team this was its third lost European final, after being defeated in the 1994 Champions League final and the 2005 Challenge Cup final.
After a four-goal win in the first leg, Liberty Seguros ABC/UMinho started off well in Odorheiu Secuiesc, having led 3-1 (min. 3), 5-3 (6) and 6-4 (8), after which the home team caught up (7-7). The Portuguese regained a two-goal lead, 9-7 (17), and the last time in the lead it was 10-9 (20). HC Odorhei improved their game and moved on to a four-goal lead 17-13 (27), bringing the score to 18-15 at half-time.
When the score got to 19-16 (32), HC Odorhei sped up and after four consecutive goals took the lead 23-16 (38), which it kept for most of the rest of the match, widening the lead to nine goals, 29-20, when the fate of the trophy was sealed. HC Odorhei was a clear winner, 32-25, deservedly winning the Challenge Cup.
In the ongoing season, the team coached by Vlad Caba started the third round playing Britons Cambridge HC, which they defeated 35-14 and 43-21 (both home matches); in the second round they beat Luxembourg's Red Boys Differdange, 33-20 and 30-16 (both home matches in Odorheiu Secuiesc); in the quarter-finals they defeated Ukraine's ZTR Zaporozhye, 26-18 at Ujgorod and 22-20 at home, while in the semi-finals they outperformed another Portuguese team, Benfica: 31-29 at home and 27-25 in Lisbon. AGERPRES
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