The perfect start continues!

On Thursday night in Lidl StarLigue Round 4 action, Paris Saint-Germain Handball played host to Saint-Raphaël. The clash at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin was a hard-fought encounter (27-25).

Loggerheads

Right from the opening minutes, the match was wire-tight. Neither side managed to get clear, the lead yo-yoing constantly. Uwe Gensheimer opened the scoring (1’: 1-0), but then could only equalise from the penalty line (4’: 2-2). The defences clearly had the upper hand and thus it was no surprise to see the sides back on level terms ten minutes in (11’: 5-5).

Paris break free!

This scenario persisted for several long minutes. The ball rarely hit the back of the net and the biggest thrills came from some spectacular defending, like Luka Karabatic's athletic blocking of a Saint-Raphaël shot (13’: 5-5). Noka Serdarusic then decided to change things up, calling a time-out when Paris were on the back foot (18’: 7-8). A judicious idea as, in the space of a few moments, Nikola Karabatic and Luc Abalo turned the situation around (19’: 9-8) before Sander made the break (21’: 10-8).

Fruitless domination

Despite heroics from Rodrigo Corrales (including a saved penalty), the capital club were having a tough time maintaining their lead - due largely to the strike duo of Alexander Lynggaard and Miroslav Jurka ravaging the defence (26’: 12-11). Not even a red card for Adrien Dipanda, for a foul on Sander Sagosen, changed the tone - and nor did the Norwegian's three quick goals nor Nikola Karabatic's strike.

Half-time score: 13-13

Advantage Paris

The second half got under way auspiciously for the Rouge et Bleu. Our Spanish 'keeper imposed a shut-out for four long minutes while the attack, led by Luka Karabatic and Uwe Gensheimer, made the most of the momentum shift to put SRHB into the rear-view mirror (34’: 15-13). However, the lead wasn't quite big enough to definitively put Paris into the clear (40’: 19-18).

The gap widens

Far from beaten, Joël Da Silva's men hit back again when Paris were two men down (41’: 19-19). Saint-Raphaël's equalising was the last straw for Rodrigo Corrales and Luc Abalo, the two players both stepping up to the plate and, in the space of a few seconds, re-establishing a two-goal lead (44’: 21-19). Sander Sagosen also got in on the act, putting the ball in the back of the net to send his side three goals clear (49’: 23-20).

Under control

From then on, the Rouge et Bleu refused to get caught up again - a task made easier by Thierry Omeyer's shutting up shop in goals and producing one of the plays of the day, with a little help from Benoît Kounkoud. Titi sent a long ball forward that Ben gladly latched onto and finished with a superb kung-fu (51’: 24-20). Ably supported by a defence who blocked several opposition shots (57’: 26-23), our 'keeper brought Coubertin to its feet one last time as he closed out the win with a strong one-on-one save.

Final score: 27-25

Under the pump for long periods against a n excellent Saint-Raphaël side, Paris Saint-Germain Handball finally made the difference in the final ten minutes. The win saw the side continue their perfect start to the campaign.

The Parisian scorers:

Sander Sagosen(6 goals), Uwe Gensheimer, Luc Abalo, Nikola Karabatic (4), Mikkel Hansen, Benoît Kounkoud (3), Nedim Remili, Luka Karabatic, Daniel Narcisse (1).

The Parisian 'keepers:

Thierry Omeyer: 5 from 18 (27%)
Rodrigo Corrales: 5 from 17 (29%)

(Credits: TeamPics/PSG)