Brest to main round after home win against SävehofArticle
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GROUP B REVIEW: The second straight win against Sävehof sees Brest Bretagne Handball claim a spot in the Women’s EHF Champions League Main Round
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Brest to main round after home win against Sävehof

On Saturday, Rostov-Don became the first Group B team to book a ticket to the main round of the Women’s EHF Champions League 2018/19. On Sunday afternoon, their example was followed by Brest Bretagne Handball, who climbed to second place in the group following a 34:26 home win against IK Sävehof.

• Brest have now won both group matches against IK Sävehof
• The Swedish side are yet to claim their first points in the competition
• Pauline Coatanea is Brest’s top scorer, with eight goals, while Emma Ekerman-Fernis nets six times for Sävehof

Brest Bretagne Handball (FRA) vs IK Sävehof (SWE) 34:26 (19:14)

In the reverse fixture in Partille, Brest did not just celebrate their maiden victory in the top continental competition, but set a club record at this level by scoring 39 goals – and after the first quarter of the match in Brest, it looked like that record might well be broken.

Although scoring was opened by Sävehof’s Linnea Pettersson, the French team soon took the initiative. Led by the unstoppable Pauline Coatanea, they looked almost perfect and pulled clear at 12:4 midway through the first half.

But Brest’s downside is a lack of consistency. Between the 21th and 27th minutes, Sävehof enjoyed a stunning 6:0 run, slashing the gap to 16:13. Until the middle of the second half, the Swedish side continued to fight hard, and the outcome was hardly clear at 25:21 in the 44th minute.

But late in the game, Brest became dominant once more and finished with a confident eight-goal victory. The win took the French team to second place in Group B, while the bottom-ranked Sävehof now have only a mathematical chance to progress to the main round. 

"Sävehof is a team with a lot of heart; a smart team that fights and has progressed between the two games," said Brest coach Laurent Bezeau following the match. "We were not far from victory against Rostov and one of the first goals set by the club was to qualify for the main round. It is reached, but I know my players will not be satisfied with that. We will try to go to the main round with a few more points."

TEXT: Sergey Nikolaev / cg