Corrales saves Plock’s first point, PSG cruise at SchaffhausenArticle
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GROUP A REVIEW: Veszprém give another lead from their hands to tie for the second time, as Paris take a never endangered double-figure win in Switzerland

Corrales saves Plock’s first point, PSG cruise at Schaffhausen

One match decided by the final whistle, one decided already at the break: Saturday’s two matches in Group A of the VELUX EHF Champions League could not have been more different - Plock tie 28:28 with Veszprém, while Paris take a 35:25 win at Schaffhausen.

  • Like in the previous season, Plock take a draw on home ground against Veszprém.

  • After the 24:24 at Flensburg, it was the second draw for the 2016 Champions League finalist, while Plock took their first point.

  • Goalkeeper Rodrigo Corrales saved the point for Plock by saving a final Ilic penalty.

  • Palmarsson and Ivic were the top scorers by eight goals each.

  • Thanks to seven goals at Schaffhausen, PSG left wing Uwe Gensheimer leads the top scorer ranking with 23 strikes.

Orlen Wisla Plock (POL) vs. Telekom Veszprém (HUN) 28:28 (13:14)

One year ago, it was a 27:27 in the Orlen Arena - which ended the era of Veszprém’s coach Carlos Ortega. On Saturday, the final result of Plock against Veszprém was another draw.

And like in Flensburg (24:24), the Hungarian record champions gave a lead from their hands in the dying minute. After Veszprém were ahead by 28:26, the deal seemed to be sealed, but two late goals by Dmitry Zhitnikov and top scorer Sime Ivic, who scored eight in total, turned the lead into an advance.

And finally, Plock’s goalkeeper Rodrigo Corrales became the hero again, blocking a penalty shot of Momir Ilic four seconds before the end for his 12th save.

Ivic imprints first 18 minutes

Like in their matches against Barcelona (12:11) and at Paris (15:15), Plock were on an equal level in the first half with their third favoured opponent in a row. Backed by the saves of Corrales and the goals of the initially very strong Ivic (five goals in the first 18 minutes), the “Oilers” had a good run.

But already then, the Polish runners-up had enormous problems with Icelandic Aron Palmarsson. After 30 minutes the Veszprém left back had already seven goals from seven attempts on his tally, after the final buzzer it were eight strikes.

Przybecki’s right word during the break

After the 12:10 lead for the hosts, the fans in the Orlen arena went crazy, but were calmed down within only four minutes, when Veszprém turned the match around to 13:12 - and kept this close distance until the halftime whistle.

New Wisla coach Piotr Przybecki found right words during the break. His players were much more stable and aggressive in defence and mainly managed to keep Palmarsson out of the game. Scoring a 4:1 series in the first six minutes of the second half, they were ahead by two again (17:15).

Renato Sulic on fire

Due to a strong performance of goalkeeper Mirko Alilovic, Veszprém first managed to bridge the gap and then to take the lead again at 21:20, causing another Plock time-out. In this period, line player Renato Sulic was the key to this advance. After only one goal before the break, the Croat was unstoppable from the six metre position and ended up on seven goals.

Ilic fails with the final penalty

With 20 seconds to go, Veszprém’s coach Javier Sabate took his final timeout, his side tried to shoot, but Palmarsson was fouled by Ivic. The Croat received a suspension and Ilic had Veszprém’s fate in his hands but failed from the seven-metre line.

Kadetten Schaffhausen (SUI) vs. Paris Saint-Germain Handball (FRA) 25:35 (8:19)

Even as PSG had to play without Nikola Karabatic (knee injury occurred in the match against Plock), the French side decided the encounter quite easy and early. After only twelve minutes the advance had risen to four goals for the first time at 8:4 - as mainly both wings, Luc Abalo and Uwe Gensheimer, had scored highly efficient.

Jesper Nielsen scores like a machine

And when German Gensheimer had netted his fourth (of seven in total), the difference was already six goals (12:6) for the away team.

Two minutes later, Danish born Kadetten coach Lars Walther had seen enough and called for his timeout, already being down by eight goals (6:14).

But nothing changed as now Swedish PSG line player Jesper Nielsen was on fire. Scoring 4/4 in only five minutes the former Berlin player was the one to secure the first double-figured advance at 17:7. And latest at the break (19:8), the winners were confirmed already.

Kadetten only team without a point in group A now

After the break, seven goals were the smallest margin, twelve the biggest. PSG could decelerate and start their rotation to save powers for upcoming harder tasks. Kadetten, including their top scorer Michal Szyba (six goals), remain on zero points as the only team of group A, while Paris earned their second win in three matches.

Said after the game:

Noka Serdarusic, Paris SG coach: "I don't know if I should be happy or not after this match. The last two games we played really bad. Today the first half was OK."

Luka Stepancic, Paris SG right back: "Congratulations to the fans of Kadetten Schaffhausen, it was a very good ambience. We are still not playing as we want to."

Lars Walther, Kadetten coach: "We had too much respect. In the first half we played passive. In the second half we played more freely and Szyba and Bringolf played well. To play against Paris Saint-Germain was a nice experience, we learned a lot."

Michal Szyba, Kadetten right back: "In the coming games we will try to make a surprise."

TEXT: Björn Pazen / ew