Paris conquer Veszprém’s fortress, Kielce take lucky winArticle
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GROUP B REVIEW: After beating Veszprém at home, Paris are now the favourites to win Group B, while Kielce narrowly hold on to victory over Aalborg

Paris conquer Veszprém's fortress, Kielce take lucky win

Paris Saint-Germain remain top of Group B after another strong performance against Veszprém. It was their fifth win over the Hungarian side in the last five VELUX EHF Champions League matches, including the 2017 semi-finals.

Thanks to goalkeeper Slawomir Szmal's save on the final buzzer, Kielce took a lucky win over visiting Aalborg and are now on eight points. Aalborg remain at the bottom of Group B after eight matches.

  • PSG are now ahead of Veszprém by three points
  • Uwe Gensheimer scores 10 goals, Mate Lekai eight
  • Aalborg still wait for their first away point of this season
  • Karol Bielecki was best scorer for Kielce with seven goals


Telekom Veszprém HC (HUN) vs Paris Saint-Germain Handball (FRA) 24:29 (12:12)

A fascinating match between the Group B leaders unfolded in Veszprém this evening. In the first 11 minutes, Paris Saint-Germain scored only three times from 11 attempts, with Veszprém’s goalkeeper Roland Mikler truly impressive.

Then everything changed. PSG strengthened their defence and goalkeeper Thiery Omeyer became crucial for the comeback of the 2017 Champions League finalists. The visitors also profited from cold-as-ice Uwe Gensheimer, who netted in all penalties.

Veszprém’s advance melted goal by goal. Five minutes before the break, the score was levelled for the first time at 10:10. Young right wing Edouard Kempf briefly provided PSG with their only lead before the break.

In the second half, Paris were constantly ahead in a now defence-orientated match. Top scorers Mate Lekai from Veszprém and Gensheimer continued to fire on all cylinders.

With 10 minutes to go, Paris had their first three-goal advance at 22:19 – followed first by another Veszprém timeout and then a double strike from Lekai and Momir Ilic.

The fans hoped that the tide would turn, but Paris cheated the gallows with another upswing. After another Gensheimer penalty goal the deal was sealed and PSG were ahead at least by four goals until the end.

PGE Vive Kielce (POL) vs Aalborg Handbold (DEN) 28:27 (15:14)

In round 7 PGE Vive Kielce took a four-goal away victory against Aalborg, but the Danish team brought a desire to avenge themselves to the return match on Saturday.

Aalborg took the upper hand in the initial stages and extended their advance to three goals at 10:7 in minute 18. But this was the wake-up call for the hosts. Boosted by their fans, Kielce scored four straight goals – and took a one-goal margin to the second half.

The Danes were much stronger than last week at home, when they were defeated 30:34. Although the 2016 VELUX EHF Champions League winners started in express mode after the break (18:15), they could not cast off their opponents.

Aalborg adapted their defence cleverly against the Kielce shooters – except one. Karol Bielecki found the gaps to score and kept his team in the lead in the middle of the second half.

When Buster Juul-Lassen equalised at 21:21, everything was open again. The same player's fifth goal of the match gave Aalborg a two-goal lead at 23:21. 

But the roller coaster again changed its direction, when the Danes went high risk, constantly playing with an additional court player. Kielce’s goalkeeper Slawomir Szmal saved three shots, and Kielce struck back with four straight goals – including two into the empty goal.

Then Kielce lost their focus and failed to score even when they had a one-man advantage. Aalborg levelled the result again at 26:26. Entering the final minute, the score was 27:27.

With 31 seconds on the scoreboard, Kielce coach Talant Dujshebaev took his final time-out, followed by a goal from Michal Jurecki. Aalborg coach Aron Kristjansson took his last time-out and Lovro Jotic made a last attempt for a draw - saved, with seconds of the match to spare, by Szmal.

Kristjansson said afterwards Aalborg had deliberately taken some risks and despite the result he was pleased.

"We knew that we needed to take some risks to win points here," he said. "We hurt because of injuries, but our team showed a good spirit and played a good game."

Kielce's Dujshebaev said: "I want to thank our fans. When we were losing by two goals they still believed in us and it helped us. We stayed focused till the end."

Kielce right wing Darko Djukic praised Aalborg.

"It was really a tough game, we knew it would be," he said. "Aalborg is a young team that fights all the time and today they were really great."

TEXT: Björn Pazen/jh