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03.12.2016, 20:47
Nantes edge closer to first place
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GROUP D REVIEW: An impressive comeback saw Nantes earn their seventh win in the group against Holstebro.
 

Nantes edge closer to first place

Without a chance for a play-off berth, TTH Holstebro managed one of their most impressive games of the season against Nantes in Group D action. The Danish side had a five-goal lead after 20 minutes, but collapsed in the second part, with Nantes' experience being enough for another win.

  • Nantes need one point in their last game against ABC to mathematically seal first place in Group D
  • Nicolas Tourant and David Balaguer were Nantes' top scorers with five goals apiece
  • Holstebro is fifth in the rankings with five points

GROUP D

HBC Nantes (FRA) vs TTH Holstebro (DEN) 31:26, 15:16

With a nearly flawless record to protect and a first place still in play, Nantes did not have room for error against Holstebro; a team that was only playing for its pride, as they are already eliminated from contention.

But the Danish ambition was far from over, with a 3:0 start that saw Nantes rehash their plans after only five minutes. There was no stopping Holstebro, as TTH jumped to a 6:2 lead, thanks to a 100% shot efficiency.

Surprisingly enough, thanks to a perfect game from Vignis Svavarsson, Holstebro maintained a five-goal lead, 13:8, heading in the 20th minute, prompting Nantes to call a timeout.

Nantes mount impressive comeback

It was the decisive moment of the first half, as the French side recovered and cut the Danish lead to only one goal (15:16), thanks to a collective effort that saw eight Nantes players score in the first half.

The usual Holstebro collapse happened later than in the previous matches, with a 5:1 partial spurring the first Nantes lead (19:18) in the 40th minute.

There was no coming back for TTH, as Nantes' experience and offensive prowess was enough for the French team to win their seventh game in the competition and they are in need of only one point from their last game in February to win the Group D.

Post-match comments:

Patrick Westerholm, TTH Holstebro Head Coach: “It was a fun game again. To play againstNantes, it’s physical, but it’s how handball should be played. I think it is a lot of intensity and a physical fight. My players made an heroic effort to push Nantes because we have a lot of injuries now. So, when our line player was out, the teammates push harder and used a tactic that we wanted to use, but we also had to save some resources too. I think that Nantes won because they played harder in the second half and we did not have enough resources to work with.”

Thierry Anti, HBC Nantes Head Coach: “It was a really good game to play and Holstebro were missing good players on the field. They played really good handball. It was hard for us to start the match and after that, to run after the score. Obviously, we are happy to win tonight but it was really difficult. Holstebro didn’t play for nothing, but they played a really good game. It is a good sign for  the VELUX EHF Champions League and for the handball!”


TEXT: Adrian Costeiu/tm
 
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