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25.11.2017, 20:10
Nantes book their ticket to the knock-out stage
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GROUP A REVIEW: French side profit from a strong start to leave Plock behind
 

Nantes book their ticket to the knock-out stage

HBC Nantes are the second team in Group A to clinch their berth to the knock-out stage of the VELUX EHF Champions League.

After nine rounds and the 32:30 against Plock, neither the Polish runners-up, nor PPD Zagreb (both on two points) can pass the French side anymore in the ranking.

A perfect start was the key for the win; the final result does not fully reflect the rundown of the match.

  • Nantes remain unbeaten on home court with nine of ten possible points
  • Hosts back in second position in Group A
  • Seventh defeat for Plock in their ninth group match
  • Buric (Nantes/6) and Duarte (Plock/5) were the top scorers

GROUP A:

HBC Nantes (FRA) vs Orlen Wisla Plock (POL) 32:30 (18:12)

After only ten minutes, it looked like a disaster for Plock, as Nantes had started in pure express mode, being decisively ahead 9:2.

But the visitors managed to come back, “winning” the last 20 minutes of the first half 10:9, but still were clearly down by 18:12 by the whistle.

Coach Piotr Przybecki found the right words in the dressing, as Plock even reduced the gap to only two goals at 18:16, profiting from a stronger defence and many technical mistakes of the hosts.

But Nantes found their rhythm and efficiency again, scoring four goals in a row to give them their six-goal gap around the 43rd minute mark.

Though Plock never gave up, they could not really endanger Nantes, finally the goal (29:25) by Nicolas Tournat in the 56th minute decided the encounter.

Scoring the last two goals, Plock managed to finish on a high, but still wait for their first Champions League win of this season.


Post-match statements: 

Thierry Anti (HBC Nantes, head coach): "Every Champions League game is difficult to win. We played very well during the first half. Then we spent 8 minutes without a goal in second half and lost too many balls. Plock came back in the game and was never out of it right until the end."

Rudolf Faluvegi (HBC Nantes, left back): "The two games were very intense and similar. We thought we had control of the situation but not really until the end.

"For my first Champions League, it’s a fantastic start. We are unbeaten at home.

"We will play a very tough game against Barcelona next week in our XXL Arena; we will continue like this."

Piotr Przybecki (Orlen Wisla Plock, head coach): "We were losing 3:0 after 1:30 and Dumoulin saved so many shots in the first half.

"In the second half, we tried to do better and be more aggressive. We took risks in playing with 7 players in attack to come back.

"We needed to be more efficient in key situations such as fastbreaks. We got closer but in the end it was too late."


TEXT: Björn Pazen / bc
 
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