Paris Saint-Germain steal march on Kielce in quarter-final dramaArticle
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QUARTER-FINAL REVIEW: A superb first half set Paris Saint-Germain up with a solid advantage over PGE Vive Kielce in the first leg of the VELUX EHF Champions League quarter-finals
»2017-18 Men's News
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Paris Saint-Germain steal march on Kielce in quarter-final drama

Paris Saint-Germain Handball will take a six-goal lead with them to their home quarter-final against PGE Vive Kielce after securing a 12-goal advantage at half-time. But Kielce’s hopes of reaching the VELUX EHF Champions League FINAL4 remain alive after the home side battled back into the game in the second half.

PSG won their third match against Kielce after two group phase victories
Alexander Dujshebaev was the game’s top scorer with seven goals
Three players netted five times for Paris
Goalkeeper Slawomir Szmal was decisive in Kielce’s comeback

Quarter-final, first leg
MOTW: PGE Vive Kielce (POL) vs Paris Saint-Germain Handball (FRA) 28:34 (10:22)

Paris Saint-Germain took quick control of the match, despite Kielce fans raising the arena roof to support their team and Luka Karabatic going back to the dressing room due to a thumb injury after five minutes. Two consecutive goals by right wing Benoit Kounkoud put the French side three goals ahead after 10 minutes.

But that was only the beginning of Kielce’s trouble. Turnovers, missed shots and problems with defence gave Paris opportunities to increase their lead. Nedim Remili scored the 14th French goal in 17 minutes to put his team eight goals ahead and four minutes later, Uwe Gensheimer took advantage of yet another Polish turnover to put the visitors ahead 17:7.

With only Alexander Dujshebaev finding a way past Thierry Omeyer, Kielce looked pale in comparison to their opponents. By half-time, three Paris players had already scored four or more, and PSG was ahead by 12 goals.

The Kielce fans got behind their team and the hosts came back revitalised from the dressing room. Jurecki, on fast-break, narrowed the gap to 10 before PSG took advantage of a double suspension to get ahead by 12 again in the 36th minute.

Kielce did not give up. After three saves in a row by Slawomir Szmal and three more fast-break goals, the Polish team were back in the game, only down by six with 15 minutes left to play.

But Paris kept their cool and cruised to the final whistle, finally winning 34:28.

Luc Abalo, Mikkel Hansen and Nikola Karabatic found the Polish net five times during the game, Alexander Dujshebaev was the most prolific scorer for Kielce, with seven goals.

Kielce set for fightback

PSG's Nikola Karabatic said after the match: "We played very well in the first half, we were very well prepared tactically for the game by the coach, especially for the 5:1 defence. We scored many goals from counterattacks.

"We knew we had to be careful in the second half, but we weren’t. Kielce showed again that they can catch up with a few goals," Karabatic said. "The last 15 minutes we played very well, so in the end we are very happy about the score."

Kielce coach Talant Dujshebaev congratulated Paris.

"We respected Thierry Omeyer too much, we made seven mistakes in one-on-one situations, from the wings and from the line. The first 16 throws from Paris were 16 goals and it was difficult to play in such conditions," he said.

"In the second half we played a bit better and now in Paris we want to play even better. We will fight for another 60 minutes," Dujshebaev added.


TEXT: Kevin Domas/jh