AEK will need something closely resembling a miracle if it is to overturn a five goal first leg deficit in the European handball Cup Winners Cup.

AEK lost on Saturday night 24-29 to Izmir BSB in Nea Filadelfia before 2000 fans.

The Round Three clash between the two hopefuls saw begin brightly with the opening ten minute period unable to separate the two sides with four goals apiece.
The travellers then began to unravel the AEK defence more frequently while looking more steady in their own half, with Izmir increasing its lead to 7-9.

Both sides found the net with regularity in the third period, just before the half time break, with the scores 12-14 just before the break, in favour of the Turks.

After the break, AEK burst out of the change with a quick goal, before a horror run of nine goalless minutes allowed Izmir to increase its lead by eight points, as the travelling side scored seven unanswered goals.

It was a lead that would never be seriously challenged, with Izmir leading over AEK 14-21 and 19-26 after the following ten minute periods.
Yianni Arvaniti’s side closed the gap 24-29 by outscoring its opponents, with Dimitris Kaffatos in goals reducing arrears for AEK, giving a very slim hope for qualification in the return leg in seven days time on November 21.

The match was only AEK’s third European contest in its history.