10 teams play for five remaining quarter-final spots
This story has been updated on Friday (14 January) with the cancellation of the second-leg between HK Galychanka Lviv and SSV Brixen Südtirol, and the subsequent progression of the Ukrainian side to the quarter-final.
Defending champions Costa del Sol Malaga from Spain and Icelandic team IBV Vestmannaeyjar went already through to the EHF European Cup Women 2021/22 quarter-final last week.
HK Galychanka Lviv also advance, after their return leg at home against SSV Brixen Südtirol had to be canceled due to several positive Covid-19 tests within the Italian team. Lviv have been formally awarded a 10:0 win and, after they had already won the first leg 36:29, go through to the quarter-final.
The five remaining spots are set to be occupied this weekend when the Last 16 will be completed.
- one of the surprises of the tournament, H71 from Faroe Islands, are in with a fair chance to continue their fairy-tale run: the European debutants lost by just one goal (39:38) at ZRK Naisa Nis in Serbia in the high-scoring first leg last week and H71 host the return leg in Torshavn on Saturday
- Rocasa Gran Canaria and Izmir BSB SK have all to play for in Telde on Sunday after their first meeting in Turkey ended in a 28:28 draw
- two double-headers start on Friday: Dutch side Cabooter HandbaL Venlo take on ZRK Bekament Bukovicka Banja in Serbia, with the second leg scheduled for Saturday; Maccabi Arazim Ramat gan from Israel travel to Spain to play Visitelche.com Bm Elche on Friday and Sunday
- another double-header takes place in Slovakia, where HC DAC Dunajska Streda play twice against Swedish visitors Kristianstad Handboll, on Saturday and Sunday
All three Spanish sides could make it to the quarter-final
Spain had the biggest number of teams – three – in the Last 16, and there is a possibility that the same is going to be the case in the quarter-final.
While Malaga are already through, two-time EHF Challenge Cup winners Rocasa will follow if they win or have a draw not higher than 27:27 against Izmir on Sunday.
The third Spanish contenders, Elche, are hosting Maccabi in a double-header, with the home advantage probably a factor that helps them go through, as well.