Flawless run continues
On Sunday afternoon, Velux EHF Champions League Group B leaders Paris Saint-Germain Handball played host to second-placed Szeged in their Round 6 clash. At the end of a hard-fought battle, les Rouge et Bleu emerged victorious (33-31).
Right from the opening minutes, it was clear this match would be a real European battle! The Hungarians were on point and got off to the better start (2': 0-2). Fortunately, les Rouge et Bleu had an on-fire Sander Sagosen to look to! The Norwegian hit a quick-fire triple to get things back on level terms (8': 3-3), but the visitors maintained control of the match and only failed to make the break because of the heroics of Rodrigo Corrales in goal (13': 4-5). After the first 15 minutes, the Parisian machine got into gear and took the lead (16': 7-6), never letting it go but widening it through the assaults of Nedim Remili (19': 9-7) and Mikkel Hansen (21': 11-7). Still, it wasn't enough to definitively break free (27': 14-13) and the match remained poised at the half-time buzzer (15-14).
The 15-minute break did nothing to change the scenario, which played out the same way as the sides got down to business in the second term. While Raul Gonzalez's men managed to stay in front (33': 17-16), they couldn't seem to pull clear (37': 20-20). The tension mounted as the minutes ticked down, with counters from Benoît Kounkoud (39': 21-20) and Kim Ekdahl du Rietz (44': 25-23) carving out a modicum of breathing space for the capital club (50': 29-26). However, Paris hit hard in the final minutes, taking a five-goal lead when Mikkel Hansen fired another missile into the back of the net (55': 32-27). The suspense lingered, and Szeged had new hope in the final minute (59': 32-31), but Nedim made sure of the win with a final strike on the buzzer to bring the Coubertin crowd to its feet (33-31).
Thus, this clash between two of this season's heavyweights lived up to its promises! The duel turned in favour of les Rouge et Bleu, who continued their flawless start to the European season with a sixth win in as many matches that keeps them atop the Group B standings.
The Parisian scorers:
Sander Sagosen (7), Uwe Gensheimer (5), Mikkel Hansen (3), Luka Stepancic, Benoît Kounkoud, Nedim Remili (2), Henrik Toft Hansen, Kim Ekdahl du Rietz (1).