While the second leg of Põlva Serviti's EHF European Cup 1/16 finals matchup against Czech team Dukla Prague ended with a 17:22 loss for the Estonian team, their first leg victory was enough to grant them passage to the top-16 draw. HC Tallinn is out of the tournament after a 24:27 loss to Swedish side Ystads IF.
Serviti went into Sunday's match against holding 19-goal lead from Saturday's first leg match and while the Czech side was able to take a five-goal victory, it was not enough over the two-match aggregate and Põlva passed through to the 1/8 finals.
"Two different days, especially on the attack. The defense held up and Eston Varusk was also good but we were not succesful at anything on offense. Alfred Timmo was injured yesterday (Saturday - ed.) and so we were missing an important gear. Luckily, our lead was enough and we achieved the most important - passage to the top 16," Serviti's head coach Kalmer Musting said post-match.
The third-highest tournament of European handball will continue its season in February. Serviti was last in the tournament's 1/16 round six years ago, defeating Ukrainian top side Zaporožje ZTR 24:21 at home but falling 23:28 in the second leg of the 1/8 finals and falling out of the tournament.
The draw for the top 16 will take place this weekend.
HC Tallinn out of European competition after loss in Sweden
The second Estonian squad in the EHF European Cup, HC Tallinn, began their second leg match in a nine-goal deficit, having lost to Swedish team Ystads IF 21:30 on Saturday. Their Sunday bout began in a scramble and while HC Tallinn played the role of chaser, they stayed right on the heels of the Swedish team.
Eventually however, HC Tallinn fell behind 25:23 with three minutes left. Ystads extended their lead by one more goal and finished with a 27:24 victory over the Estonian team.
HC Tallinn head coach Risto Lepp said post-match: "We can be pleased with everyone and everything today. We handled things nicely, both on offense and defense, Armis Priskus had a good game. It is clear our opponent gave some of their young players opportunities, but we received a great experience in the long-term and the boys got a lot of confidence."
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste