Paris fight-back not enough

On Wednesday night Paris Saint-Germain Handball traveleld to Aix-en-Provence for their Lidl StarLigue Round 10 fixture against an excellent PAUC side that made the most of their chances (33-31).

Tight start

The match was a balanced affair in the opening minutes, with the Rouge et Bleus the first to shine as they hit the target with their first two attempts (2’: 1-2). The locals hit back quickly but didn't change the face of the game. After each Aix goal, our players managed to level things up again, with Mikki hitting on the counter (7’: 5-5), Nedim Remili finishing powerfully (9’: 4-4) and Sander Sagosen also finding the back of the net (10’: 6-6).

Aix cut loose

Once this initial sounding-out phase was over, however, PAUC upped the ante and made the break when former Parisian Sergiy Onufriyenko rifled home (12’: 8-6). Paris struggled to link up and paid derly for several losses of possession in mid-court (14’: 9-6). Meanwhile, Aix right-winger Jordan Camarero, the southerners' top scorer, was having a great night and duly put his side four goals to the good (18’: 12-8).

Uwe and Titi bounce back

Two men looked to buck the trend. Thierry Omeyer, brought on as a substitute, quickly set about stymying Aix's attacking efforts and made a splendid double save to deny Camarero (21’: 12-10). The second was Uwe Gensheimer. Gthe German international, who had looked sharp all match, found the cutting edge to beat Joze Baznik (24’: 14-11). But small injuries colluded with some bad luck and, despite another super save from Titi, Paris went into the break five goals down.

Half-time score: 17-12

Powerhouse restart

The start of the second half was tough for Zvonimir Serdarusic's men, Jérôme Fernandez charges coming out swinging and putting three unanswered goals past their capital club opponents (33’: 20-13). Their backs to the wall, the Rouge et Bleu looked to react, starting in defence, where our back-line tightened things up considerably. The attack took full advantage and the gap diminished as Sander Sagosen (35’: 21-15), Mikkel Hansen (37’: 21-16) Uwe Gensheimer (38’: 21-17) all struck.

Nedim sounds the charge

But Paris were still well adrift (41’: 25-19)… This time, it was Nedim Remili who took matters into his own hands. The France international, tough in defence, was also involved in all Paris' action going forward, scoring a quick-fire double and getting his side back on track (43’: 26-21). The Parisian right-back hit the afterburners, covering an amazing amount of ground, popping up on the left to tee Uwe up to score (47’: 27-24) and then firing a nine-metre shot in at the far post (54’: 31-28).

Mikki can't prevent defeat

The match came alive once again in the final ten minutes, thanks mainly to Mikki Hansen. The Dane conjured a fine angled shot to get his side back to within two goals of their hosts (55’: 31-29) and then, less than a minute later, he got on the end of a long pass from Titi and cracked the match wide open (56’: 31-30). Unfortunately, his pass to Nedim led to Paris' last goal for the match (57’: 32-31), with the excellent Aymeric Minne capping a strong individual performance with the goal that secured the win.

Final score: 33-31

As was the case against Nîmes a couple of weeks ago (26-24), le Paris Saint-Germain Handball tasted defeat despite a spirited comeback. The rouge et Bleu paid dearly for their dropping off at the end of the first half and duly fell to their second Lidl StarLigue defeat of the campaign.

The Parisian scorers:

Nedim Remili (8 goals), Mikkel Hansen (7), Sander Sagosen (6), Henrik Mollgaard, Luka Stepancic, Benoît Kounkoud (1).

The Parisian 'keepers:

Rodrigo Corrales: 5 from 15 (33%), Thierry Omeyer: 18 from 40 (45%)

(Credits: PSG)