Paris stumble in Norway

Paris Saint-Germain Handball lost 36-31 to Kolstad in their EHF Champions League Matchday 7 clash in Norway on Wednesday. Here's a look back at the match.

Paris Saint-Germain Handball made their return to the EHF Champions League on Wednesday with a perilous trip to Norway to take on Kolstad, fifth in Group A and two points behind the capital club. On the final day of the first leg, Les Rouge et Bleu were keen to get back to winning ways and extend their lead over their opponents.

In an electric Trondheim Spektrum arena, the Parisians wobbled slightly in the opening minutes, but managed to stay in touch with the Norwegians (5': 3-2). Aided by a solid start from Andreas Palicka, Les Rouge et Bleu bared their teeth and managed to stay afloat (11': 5-5). On the stroke of the quarter hour-mark, Raul Gonzalez's men took advantage of being a man up to lift their game and make the first break of the match (16': 6-8).

Led by an in-form Sander Sagosen (a Parisian from 2017 to 2020 and this season's assist leader in the competition), the hosts managed to pull level with Les Rouge et Bleu (21': 11-11). However, the capital club remained resolute and attacked relentlessly. Elohim Prandi, put his side back in front with his fourth of the match, forcing the Norwegians into their first time-out (23': 11-13). The break did nothing to trouble the Parisians, who maintained their advantage as the first period drew to a close (27': 13-16). Finally, it was with a two-goal advantage that our team returned to the dressing room at the end of a lively first half (30': 14-16).

The second half started at the same frenetic pace, with Luc Steins giving his side a three-goal lead thanks to a superb foray through the opposition defence (34': 18-21) but, buoyed by their fans, Kolstad took advantage of a lapse from the Parisian rearguard to reset the scoreboard (41': 25-25). Despite Raul Gonzalez's time-out, the capital club were in real trouble and shipped four unanswered goals - allowing the Norwegians to take the lead as the final quarter-hour approached (43': 27-25).

On the cusp of what was sure to be a thrilling money-time, Luc scored twice to keep Les Rouge et Bleu in the game (49': 31-28). However, although their intentions were good, the capital club still came up against an imperious Tobjorn Sittrup Bergerud (55': 34-30). The Parisians were unable to come back and conceded a second consecutive defeat in the EHF Champions League, to a Kolstad team with plenty of cutting edge who had taken advantage of every inch of space left by Raul Gonzalez's men (60': 36-31). Provisionally third in Group A, Les Rouge et Bleu will be keen to bounce back and take their revenge on the Norwegians on 22 November, when EHF Champions League Matchday 8 gets under way.


(Credits: J. Azouze/PSG)