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29.09.2018, 23:10
Paris take third victory in Zagreb
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GROUP B REVIEW: Zagreb couldn’t do anything to stop last year’s semi-finalists Paris tonight. Paris are now top of the table with the maximum of six points.
 

Paris take third victory in Zagreb

After Zaporozhye and Celje, Zagreb couldn’t do anything to stop last year’s semi-finalists Paris tonight. The French side took control of the game before half-time, going back to the dressing room with a six goals advantage, before controlling the pace and increasing their advantage in the second half. Paris are now top of the table with the maximum of six points.

  • Rodrigo Corrales was, just like last week, peerless in his team’s performance with 17 saves
  • Luka Karabatic scored eight for Paris while Horvat was Zagreb’s best scorer with four
  • For the first time since 2014, Paris have started their Champions League campaign with three straight wins

GROUP B

RK PPD Zagreb (CRO) vs Paris Saint-Germain HB (FRA) 21:32 (9:15)

It took 15 minutes for Paris to get a grip on the game. Before that, despite finding solutions on offense quite easily, the visitors had struggled to contain Arber Qerimi, who looked likely to repeat the good performances he had delivered in the first two rounds.

But as time went on, Paris adapted their defense to the seven players attacks Zagreb chose to use, with Rodrigo Corrales giving a hard time to the Croatian players. The best example of this was when Zlatko Horvat uncharacteristically missed four shots in the first half alone. This resulted in a nine-minute period without a goal for the hosts, while Paris sailed away, finally going back to the dressing-room with a six-goals advantage, 15-9.

Zagreb offensive troubles did not vanish after half time. And with Rodrigo Corrales still on fire, Paris increased their advantage quickly.

While Luka Karabatic was scoring easily on the lineplayer position, it was Nédim Rémili who gave the visitors their first ten-goals lead on the 40th minute, 24-14.

Paris’ coach, Raul Gonzalez, took the opportunity to open his bench, giving some time on the court to Dylan Nahi and Luka Stepancic, playing against his former club. This did not alter the visitors’ performance as they carried on increasing their lead. Stepancic showed no mercy for his former colleagues, scoring three in the last fifteen minutes to give Paris the final win, 32-21.

“I feel like after first two good matches in Champions League we were eager to deliver a good performance once again but things obviously didn’t work in our favour tonight,” said Zagreb coach Lino Cervar. 

“Our poor defense was the key for our loss today, defense which was our main asset in both of previous two encounters was simply not functioning the way we want it to each time we step out there.”

PSG coach Raul Gonzales added: “It is never easy to play here but we delivered a really good performance today. Our goalkeeper was amazing and when your goalie does such a great job it makes everything a lot easier for the whole team.” 


TEXT: Kevin Domas / mc
 
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