Paris prevail

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Victoire pour Paris ! #CELPSG

A post shared by Paris Saint-Germain Handball (@psghandofficiel) on Feb 9, 2020 at 9:43am PST

The context:
On Sunday afternoon, Paris Saint-Germain Handball made their third consecutive trip (in a series of five matches) since the start o the second half of the season. In Velux EHF Champions League Round 11 action, they travelled to Celje. After Szeged had drawn 24 hours earlier against Aalborg (26-26), a win could take Paris into second place in Group A. The Slovenians, meanwhile, needed points to move three points clear of the red zone (three points clear of seventh).

The match:
From the very first moments of the match, it was clear that this match would be an evenly matched one. For long minutes, the advantage changed sides, with the goals of Tilen Kodrin for Celje (5': 2-3) and those of Kamil Syprzak in favour of Les Rouge et Bleu (12': 5-6). However, once our team had got the measure of their opponents, they made scoring extremely difficult for Celje while continuing to show plenty of cutting edge up front (17': 7-10). But it was still far too early to write off the hosts who, pushed by their fans, gave their all to get back to within a goal (25': 12-13). However, our wingers, BenoƮt Kounkoud and Adama Keita, were in charge of pushing them back into their own half before the break (30': 13-17).

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In the second half, Celje were still not about to give up. On the contrary, they withstood the Parisian attacks and once again came back to within one goal (38': 20-21). What a contest! Temporary send-offs fell like rain on both sides and it was rare to see a full 14 players on the court at any time. However, Raul Gonzalez's men could rely on the excellent Rodrigo Corrales, who came on as a substitute and stopped a penalty (44': 21-24), and on Mikkel Hansen's magnificent no-look pass to play Kamil in to score (50': 24-28). With less than 10 minutes remaining, and although the result seemed clear, there was a twist in and Gudjon Sigurdsson (who scored a magnificent spin-shot) to seal the fate of this game (29-33).

The Parisian of the match: Kamil Syprzak
Once again, the Polish pivot was a valuable weapon. Defensively, he caused the Slovenian attack all sorts of problems with his power - which also allowed him to score goals! Against Celje, he scored from nine of his 14 attempts to top score in the match.

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The word: Second
With this victory and Szeged's draw, Paris Saint-Germain Handball moved up to second place in the group. Both teams have 18 points, but our team is ahead thanks to its victory in the first leg at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin (30-25). The return leg will take place in Hungary next Sunday.

Coming up:
On Wednesday evening, Les Rouge et Bleu will take part in Lidl StarLigue Round 15 action, travelling to Aix. Against the sixth of our championship, they will try to score a fifteenth success in as many league matches in this 2019-2020 exercise.

(Credits: J. Azouze/PSG)