Fleury Loiret finally break their duckArticle
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GROUP B MATCH REVIEW: In the battle of defences the French champions were once again close to throwing away a point against a feisty Podravka Vegeta side.

Fleury Loiret finally break their duck

Fleury Loiret won their first game in the Women’s EHF Champions League this season in a low scoring game against Podravka Vegeta, who came very close to snatching a point from the home team.

Fleury Loiret Handball (FRA) vs HC Podravka Vegeta (CRO) 19:17 (11:6)

Both teams were going for their first win of the season but while the unbeaten Fleury could jump to second place in Group B, Podravka were fighting to keep their hopes of qualifying for the main round alive.

Perhaps it was down to the pressure on both sides to gain their first win in the group that the number of technical errors in the first half well exceeded the number of goals scored. Both defences worked extremely well but the home side's wall was backed up by the magnificent goalkeeper Darly Zoqbi De Paula.

Thanks to the saves of the Spanish shotstopper Fleury had the lead in the first half but Ekaterina Nemeskalo made sure Podravka remained in sight of the French outfit. Gnonsiane Niombla and Alexandrina Cabral Barbosa kept them ahead for most of the second half but upon entering the last 10 minutes the French side once again lost grip of the game.

Podravka started to edge closer and closer and when four minutes from the final whistle two home players were given two-minute suspensions it seemed possible that Fleury could once again lose a point in the last seconds and make it four draws in four games.

However, Niombla kept her nerve and lobbed in a penalty in the 60th minute to win the game for Fleury, who leapfrogged Thüringer HC into second place.

TEXT: Bence Mártha / amc