Stings of the wasps hurt PSGArticle
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MATCH REVIEW: Velenje beat favoured French champion, but give clearer win from their hands

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Stings of the wasps hurt PSG

Former Yugoslavian countries are not the places to win for Paris St. Germain: After a draw and a defeat at Skopje in the group phase, the French champions also left Slovenian city Velenje empty-handed on Saturday. Thanks to the 30:28 win the Slovenian champions can hope for a major surprise before the rematch of the Last16 duel in France next weekend.

VELUX EHF Champions League Last 16, first leg:
Gorenje Velenje (SLO) vs. Paris St. Germain (FRA) 30:28 (16:13)

A superb performance of goalkeeper Benjamin Buric and a highly efficient scoring duo Mario Sostaric (9) and Stas Skube (8), who netted in 17 of in total 30 goals provided Gorenje Velenje with a good base for the second leg in Paris. Best scorer for the French champions was former Velenje player Fahrudin Mehic, by seven goals.

Backed by a brilliant atmosphere the “wasps” dominated the match from 15 minutes on, when they equalised the initial PSG lead for the first time at 6:6 – and later did not give the lead from their hands until the final whistle. Boosted by brilliant Buric, the Velenje defence clearly improved and caused major problems for the favoured French champions.

Stas Skude led his team in attack, and his fourth goal meant the first three goal advance for the Slovenians at 11:8. PSG did not have the right ideas and means in attack to stop the downswing, and with his sixth goal Sostaric scored for the three goal lead at the break (16:13).

One thought that Paris could clearly improve in the second half, was wrong – as the Slovenian still stood rock solid in defence. 15 minutes before the end the arena in Velenje went crazy, as the gate to the quarter-final seemed to be widely open for the “wasps”, leading by five goals at 25:20.

But this score was the wake-up call for PSG. The French team clearly increased their efficiency in attack, while Velenje lacked power and concentration – four straight Paris goals nearly leveled the match again, everything was open at 25:24 – and still ten minutes on the clock.

It was their most experienced player, Serb Mladen Bojinovic, who took the responsibility for PSG in the final stages. And thanks to their catch-up chase, which ended in a final two goals backlog, the chances of Paris to proceed to the quarter-finals are still alive.

TEXT: Björn Pazen