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Rincón Fertilidad make history once again by qualifying for first ever European semi-final

The Rincón Fertilidad players celebrate after their second-leg tie in Greece.
The Rincón Fertilidad players celebrate after their second-leg tie in Greece. / Rincón Fertilidad
  • The Malaga club are through after overcoming Greek side PAOK over two legs in the quarter-finals of the EHF European Cup

Malaga-based women's handball side Rincón Fertilidad have secured a place in the semi-finals of the EHF European Cup for the first time following an aggregate victory over Greek team PAOK in the last eight. They will now face fellow Spanish side Atlético Guardes in the semi-final, with the dates for the fixtures yet to be decided.

A narrow 23-22 victory for PAOK on Sunday in Greece was not enough for them to usurp Rincón Fertilidad's place in the final four, as the Costa side had won the first encounter 30-21 last Friday.

In the second leg, the Malaga club had to fend off a spirited fightback from their hosts. Indeed, PAOK dominated much of the first half, and the comeback seemed very possible- they took a 12-10 lead into half-time. Into the second half, PAOK pushed for more points to bridge the gap, but their physical exertions left them vulnerable to Rincón Fertilidad's counter-attacks.

Four quickfire goals for the Costa side gave them twelve points and a 22-18 lead. Although PAOK secured five more points to win on the night, they were unable to stop Rincón Fertilidad advancing to the next stage.

For Rincón Fertilidad, they are now just one round away from a place in the final of Europe's third-tier handball tournament for which they earned qualification by winning the Copa de la Reina last season.

Should they get through the next stage, they will meet either Turkish side Yalikavaksports or Croatian club Lokomotiva Zagreb in the final.