Paris cap stellar week with win over Ivry

Three days after defeating Wisla Plock in the first leg of the EHF Champions League Round of 16, Paris Saint-Germain Handball returned to the Liqui Moly StarLigue this Sunday afternoon for Round 22. For Les Rouge et Bleu, the aim was to stay at the top of the standings. And to do that, they need to win at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin, against an Ivry side desperate for points and who showed some quality in the first meeting this season, won by the Parisians (34-38).

The start of the match went in the visitors' favour, with Jannick Green showing particular skill (4': 1-3). The Danish international made a superb save from the lively Jesper Jorgensen, but Ivry's solid defending kept them in front (10': 5-7). Mathieu Grébille made a magnificent interception and completed the ensuing counter-attack, sparking his side's fight-back that left them trailing by just one goal at the end of the first quarter (16': 8-9).

The two teams then went blow for blow, and David Balaguer scored three quick goals to put Paris back on level terms (20': 11-11). Thanks to Jannick Green, who had already made five saves in the first period, Les Rouge et Bleu stayed in touch with their opponents (26': 14-14). But after a final lob at the buzzer, it was Ivry who returned to the dressing room with a slight advantage.

For the start of the second period, the capital club looked to the fresh arm of substitute Elohim Prandi, who scored three goals in as many attempts (34': 19-20). Kamil Syprak then converted three penalties to give his team the lead (39': 24-22). Unfortunately, however, Luka Karabatic's temporary ban gave the tenacious Ivry team a boost (43': 26-26) and, as time went on, the outcome of the match seemed as doubtful as ever (46': 28-28).

Luc Steins' fifth goal of the day and another save from Jannick Green put Paris back in front (49': 30-28). And in the scoring department, David Balaguer continued his near-perfect form with a 7 from 8 (53': 32-29). As the minutes ticked by, the Parisians increased their lead against an Ivry team that was close to breaking (57': 34-30).

A final goal from Kamil Syprak gave Paris Saint-Germain Handball yet another league win (36-31), which keeps them well clear top the Liqui Moly StarLigue standings. Now it's back to the EHF Champions League, with the return leg of the Round of 16 against Wisla Plock at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin on Thursday.


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