Three-goal win in Match of the Week gives Nantes quarter-final ticketArticle
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MOTW REVIEW: A thrilling second half sent Nantes through to the quarter-finals as Rhein-Neckar Löwen stumbled
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Three-goal win in Match of the Week gives Nantes quarter-final ticket

With two goals to make up, Nantes had no choice but to play 100% tonight against Rhein-Neckar Löwen. Despite staring the game in a bad way and being led by four, they kept cool and came back.

The second half was a thriller, both teams trading goals and the German side still virtually qualified five minutes before the end. But Romain Lagarde was excellent and his eight goals were decisive for his team to qualify.

  • Nantes won by one goal on aggregate
  • This was Nantes’ first-ever victory over Rhein-Neckar Löwen
  • Nantes’ Romain Lagarde was presented with the Player of the Match award by VELUX partner PACHET

HBC Nantes (FRA) vs Rhein-Neckar Löwen (GER) 30:27 (14:14)
Aggregate 62:61

Despite being two goals behind at the throw-off, Nantes started the game in the worst way. Some missed shots and troubles in defence gave the visitors the perfect path to take the lead.

After nine minutes, the German side was ahead by four goals. But Nantes’ defence started to find solutions to stop Jannick Kohlbacher and Andy Schmid from scoring.

At the other end of the court, Romain Lagarde and Valero Rivera were firing on all cylinders. Thanks to his long distance shots Lagarde helped his team find their rhythm before the Spanish winger converted penalties to make the score even at half-time, 14:14.

The second half was an impressive thriller, with Nantes being up to four goals ahead at one point. But in the last quarter of the match, Löwen coach Nikolaj Jakobssen chose to play with seven field players, and it worked.

While Nantes were struggling on attack, the German club were finding defensive solutions. And five minutes before the end of the game, Rhein-Neckar had come back within one goal, putting them within reach of qualification.

But Lagarde, again, was decisive for his team. His final goal, his eighth of the evening, secured the three-goal win for the home side and the ticket to the quarter-finals.



TEXT: Kevin Domas/jh