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03.11.2018, 20:00
Nantes overcome bad start to snatch third home win
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GROUP B REVIEW: Siffert’s saves help Nantes claim comeback win over Zagreb after poor opening quarter sees them score just one goal
 

Nantes overcome bad start to snatch third home win

Between a team which had only taken points at home, HBC Nantes, and one which only grabbed points away, HC PPD Zagreb, something was bound to give in this interesting encounter.

For the first twenty minutes, it felt like it was the Croatian side’s day, displaying impressive defensive intelligence. But after matching their rivals’ intensity, Nantes came back in the game.

Still, they had to wait until the final quarter of the game to take hold of the game, thanks to an impressive performance from goalkeeper Arnaud Siffert.

  • Nantes snatch their third consecutive home win despite only scoring once in the first sixteen minutes
  • It was a night for left-handers as Nantes’ Kiril Lazarov and Zagreb’s Zlatko Horvat are tied with five goals
  • Arnaud Siffert was decisive in the second half with ten saves

GROUP B
HBC Nantes (FRA) vs HC PPD Zagreb (CRO) 23:20 (10:11)

Zagreb’s defensive performance in the opining quarter of the match was up with the best in the competition’s history.

A brilliant defence and six saves by Urh Kastelic meant that Nantes only scored once in the first sixteen minutes, while the visitors cruised to a 6:1 leaf.

But the locals slowly got their attack together again. Kiril Lazarov, despite missing his first three attempts, was key in Nantes’ recovery. Three goals and an assist helped his team shorten the gap, while Zagreb struggled in attack, despite playing seven against six.

Luka Mrakovcic gave Zagreb an 11:10 lead just before the break, far from their dominant position just minutes earlier.

Nantes took the lead for the first time in the game three minutes in the second half, but did not manage to increase their advantage as the game remained a defensive battle.

With only one goal between the two teams with fifteen minutes to play, it looked like the game was going to be a repeat of last season’s thrillers, but Nantes keeper Arnaud Siffert had other ideas.

With ten saves in the second half, including a penalty, he was the decisive factor for the hosts.

When Nicolas Claire made it 21:18 four minutes from time, Nantes were safe and on their way to a third straight home victory.


TEXT: Kevin Domas / cor
 
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