Les Rouge et Bleu held in memorable Kolstad clash

Match reports

Paris Saint-Germain Handball drew with Kolstad at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin on Wednesday evening (28-28). We take a look back at the EHF Champions League Matchday 8 clash.

Les Rouge et Bleu kicked off the second half of their EHF Champions League group stage campaign on Wednesday when they took on Kolstad at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin. Having lost their previous two games, against the Norwegians (36-31) and Kiel (28-34), the capital club's aim was to get back to winning ways and overtake their opponents.

Spurred on by a sold-out Stade de Pierre de Coubertin, the Parisians took an early lead thanks to a brace from Elohim Prandi (4': 2-1). However, it didn't take long for the Norwegians to hit their stride, making the first break of the match (6': 2-4). But Raul Gonzalez's men were not to be deterred, and they immediately got back on level terms, thanks in particular to another goal from an imperious Elohim Prandi (9': 4-4). Luc Steins rounded off a lightning counter-attack - which had started with a splendid save from Green - to give Les Rouge et Bleu a 2-0 lead as the quarter hour-mark approached (15': 7-5).

As the end of a promising first half approached, the two teams were neck and neck, unable to break the deadlock (24': 10-10). Taking advantage of a triple numerical superiority following the sin-binning of Tonnesen, Steins and Keita, Kolstad regained their two-point lead (26': 10-12). Raul Gonzalez decided to call his first time-out of the match, but it did little to stop the Norwegians from attacking relentlessly and extending their lead in the dying moments of the first half (28': 11-15). The capital club then managed to make up some of the deficit on the buzzer, and were trailing by just two points at the break (30': 13-15). All was still to play for in what promised to be a thrilling second half.

Kolstad attacked from the outset when play resumed, but Paris refused to give an inch and Elohim kept them afloat with a sensational goal (39': 17-18). The French international even scored twice to get the teams back on level terms. As the final 15 minutes rolled around, Raul Gonzalez decided to switch to a seven-man attack. His choice made an immediate difference, and Paris went back in front (46': 20-19)! Buoyed by a boisterous home crowd, Les Rouge et Bleu took the lead thanks to Prandi's eighth goal of the evening (49': 23-20).

However, Kolstad were cruelly clinical in front of goal and managed to level up in money time (55': 26-26). In a breathless end to the match, the two teams were unable to break the deadlock and played out a draw (60': 28-28). Andreas Palicka, who made nine saves at a 39% clip, was named Man of the Match. With this result, Paris stay in touch with Kiel, Les Rouge et Bleu's next opponent on 30 November. The Germans were held to a 27-27 defeat by Aalborg earlier in the evening, but they remain on top of Group A.

(Credits: L. Valroff/Team Pics/PSG)