AEK stuns Challenge Cup holder in handball

AEK?s handball team made history on February 26 by reaching the quarterfinals of Europe?s Challenge Cup through eliminating holders Sporting Lisbon in the penalty shootout.

The players of coach Yiannis Arvanitis had lost 27-23 in the first leg at Lisbon and led by just one goal at the return leg?s half-time in Athens (12-11).

The decisive factor at the court of Nea Philadelphia was the fans at the stands who boosted AEK and helped them win the game by exactly the same score (27-23).

The full-time result led to penalties, where AEK won 5-4 to upset Sporting and qualify to the last eight of the competition.

The unprecedented success of the Athens club brought huge enthusiasm to the fans who had packed the Ionikos court.

?All games from now on will be very difficult, as today?s game was, too, but there is no team that can beat us just by its name,? said a beaming Arvanitis after the game.

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