Mios win Challenge Cup thanks to second win against SzczecinArticle
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The French side fend off a late comeback to lift the Challange Cup in front of a packed arena in Bordeaux

Mios win Challenge Cup thanks to second win against Szczecin

The arena in Bordeaux was sold out hoping to witness Mios win the second Challenge Cup in its history. And the crowd were not dissapointed with this great end-to-end game to end the EHF Challenge Cup season.

EHF Challenge Cup Final, Leg 2

Union Mios Biganos-Begles (FRA) vs Pogon Baltica Szczecin (POL) 28:24 (18:12)

Both teams were one hundred per cent in the game from the start, and the tempo of the opening minutes was high.

Noemie Lachaud was particularly in fine form scoring the first three goals for Mios, which opened a lead for them (5:3) after six minutes.

In the meantime, Szczesin earned some two minutes suspensions, and Mios took the opportunity to widen the gap on the score board. Foggea's saves and fast breaks gave the French side a five-goal advantage for the first time after 23 minutes.

And even though Monika Koprowska proved to be efficient in offense, the Poles were down by six goals at half-time (12:18).

Exactly like in the first leg, Mios came back from the dressing room starting slow, while Szczecin were amped up in defense.

The visitors slowly reduced the difference, and after 13 minutes of the second half, both teams were on neck and neck.

Even if Agata Cebula only found the net twice, Malgorzata Stasiak made up for it and scored four times, all of them in the second half.

It was the left back that tied the game at 23:23 after 49 minutes, silencing the home crowd.

Repeating the exact same scenario as the week before, Mios upped their game defensively when they saw their opponent’s comeback.

Only one goal conceded in the last ten minutes meant the French took the advantage once again, and when Mireya Gonzalez scored to make it 28:24 two minutes from the end, the whole arena erupted, celebrating Mios' win.

Best scorer for Mios was Noemie Lachaud with six goals, and for Szczesin Stasiak scored four.

Of course, Mios' coach Manu Mayonnade was delighted with the win: “Like in the first leg, we started very well and let Szczesin come back in the second half. But the girls didn't panic and carried on playing their game even when the score was even. I think it's a great reward for my squad, which hasn't had the easiest of seasons. I really enjoy coaching this team, and winning this Challenge Cup gives me massive satisfaction.”

On the other side of things, Adrian Struzik, Szczesin’s coach could only praise his side: “I'm very proud of what my team has done, to probe a team such as Mios and to force them to play their best handball really gives me a lot of satisfaction. Even tonight, when they were seven goals behind, they didn't give up.”

TEXT: Kevin Domas / bc