Strong defence lifts Metz past CSMArticle
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GROUP A REVIEW: For the first 20 minutes, CSM Bucuresti matched Metz Handball but the French side's defence helped them record a 25:22 win

Metz Handball finished the DELO EHF Champions League group phase on a high, securing a convincing 25:22 win against CSM Bucuresti.

The win sealed second place in group A for the French side, while the Romanian side lost for the fourth time in their last five games to finish in third place.

Metz Handball (FRA) vs CSM Bucuresti (ROU) 25:22 (16:12)

  • after the two teams traded blows for the first 20 minutes, Metz finished the half with a superb 6:1 run, stopping Cristina Neagu, who scored six of CSM’s 12 goals in the first 30 minutes
  • Metz’s goalkeeper, Hatadou Sako, had a superb first half, with eight saves, while German goalkeeper Dinah Eckerle added two penalty saves from Cristina Neagu
  • French right back Marie Hélène Sajka had her best outing of the season, scoring six times, to help Metz earn the win
  • for the fourth time in four games, CSM failed to secure an away win against Metz
  • Metz finished second in the group; CSM finished third. After Buducnost's win on Saturday evening, both sides can only face either SCM Ramnicu Valcea or Borussia Dortmund in the next round

Metz win big with defence

With several absences and questionable form in 2021, CSM Bucuresti had little answer for Metz when the French side turned on their engines.

Metz had trouble in the first half, but as their defence began to stop CSM’s top scorer, Cristina Neagu, the Romanian side had little answer. An 11:4 run for Metz, spanning from the 21st minute to the 40th minute, when Neagu failed to score, decided the game and helped the French side seal a 25:22 win.

Post-match quotes

"We lost against Bucharest five months ago. It was important for us to win tonight. They are a difficult team to play, we wanted to finish first or second in the group (and) that's the case tonight. We are very satisfied," said Metz head coach Emmanuel Mayonnade.

"I'm very proud of the team tonight and happy to have scored both points. It was important for us to win at home tonight," said Metz centre back Tjasa Stanko.

"Metz was better today. We knew that coming here to play would be difficult. They are one of the most difficult teams to play away. To win here, you have to be at 100% of your capacity during the whole match," said CSM Bucuresti head coach Adrian Vasile.

"It is always very hard to come and play in this arena," said CSM Bucuresti centre back Elizabeth Omoregie.



TEXT: Adrian Costeiu