No problems for PSG second time aroundArticle
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MATCH REVIEW: Clear win gives the Paris club a place in the VELUX EHF Champions League Quarter-finals for the first time

No problems for PSG second time around

After their initial defeat in Slovenia (28:30), the PSG had to show something else at home against Gorenje Velenje in order to secure their qualification for the next round and they certainly managed to do so, winning by nine goals (34:25).

All was not as easy as it looks. In the first half, the two teams played evenly, with Hansen and Gunnarsson being the main offensive weapons for the Parisians while, like in the first leg, Velenje could count on their magic centre back Stas Skube, who has been scoring and passing with equal efficiency.

With 17:17 at half-time, both teams could still hope for qualification, but as soon as the second half began, PSG stepped into another gear. With a harder defense and Sierra who looked like a wall in his goal at some points, Velenje soon fell behind, trailing by four goals after 40 minutes (23:29).

And it all went from bad to worse. Antonio Garcia, Mikkel Hansen and, again, Robert Gunnarsson, goals were flying from everywhere while Benjamin Buric, the goalkeeper of the Slovenian team, looked helpless. Minutes before the end of the game, PSG took a ten-goal lead (33:23), before finally winning by nine, 34:25.

Philippe Gardent, PSG's coach, looked happy after the game, praising his troops "for not making the same mistakes twice. In the first leg, we had had chances to win, but weren't concentrated this time."

He also congratulated Velenje for being such a worthy opponent: "They've shown some very interesting things and forced us to play our best handball, which will be very useful for the end of the competition."

In the same vein, Robert Gunnarsson, praised his teammates for their performance: "After the first game, we felt we could do a lot better. So we focused a lot more and tried to defend better. Even if the first half wasn't quite right, the second was much better and me managed to keep our efficiency on offense as well."

On the other end, Stas Skube was a little bit disappointed by how the things had turned out for his team: "We were a little bit tired at the end of the game, and when you're not fully fit against such a team, they make you pay the price immediately. But I'm still proud of what we did and aim to come back stronger next season."

TEXT: Kevin Domas / cor