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03.05.2019, 12:50
Corrales: “Everybody must be convinced we can do it”
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FEATURE: Rodrigo Corrales knows turning the tables against Kielce will be tough, but believes PSG can make history in the arena where he has never lost a Champions League match
 

Corrales: “Everybody must be convinced we can do it”

Only three times in the history of the VELUX EHF Champions League has a team turned around a 10-goal deficit in a knockout confrontation. And PSG goalkeeper Rodrigo Corrales does not even have to check the history books to know when the last time was: 

“I was watching on television when Ademar Leon won by 11 at home before losing by 11 in Berlin,” remembers the Spanish goalkeeper. His team lost by 10 last Saturday in Kielce and will face the gigantic task of turning things around to qualify for the club’s fourth VELUX EHF FINAL4 in a row. 

The mood in PSG’s dressing room in Hala M.O.S.I.R. Kielce was, Corrales says, “hard to describe. We were angry, and also frustrated because we didn’t show our true handball. For sure, we didn’t play our best game of the season, but we don’t feel like we deserved to lose by 10. It was hard to take, but the day after, we were already focused and trying to find solutions.”

Qualifying for the EHF FINAL4 after such a loss in the first leg would be historic, but Paris have grown accustomed to writing history this season. They finished the group phase with the best ever points record while also extending their home winning streak in the Champions League to 37 games – a feat no team has achieved in the history of the competition. 

However, these numbers will not mean much on Sunday when the teams enter the court, ready to battle for a ticket to Cologne. 

“The only thing in our heads must be to win. Some teams have done it before, so it’s not something we can’t do. Everybody must be convinced we can do it and must finish the game thinking that they gave it all. Right from the throw-off to the final whistle, push 100 per cent,” says Corrales.

The EHF EURO 2018 champion will have a key role to play, along with Thierry Omeyer. The PSG goalkeepers were outgunned by Vladimir Cupara in Kielce, with the Serbian keeper a key asset for the Polish side. In Sunday’s clash, PSG will need an impressive performance from their goalkeepers and their defence. He does not say it, but Corrales also likely hopes his teammate Omeyer will finish his Champions League career on a note other than an elimination in the quarter-final.

“We have to make things easy for our teammates, but there is no need for us to put too much pressure on ourselves. We know our job; we know we have to take less goals than we did last week. It’s a team sport, and we have to improve in every way,” says Corrales, who also expects the PSG fans to make their presence felt when the team needs their support.

“I think that, with their help, we will score a few more goals. Playing in this arena, where I’ve never lost in the Champions League, feels like we’re starting the game with already a couple of goals for us on the score board. The fans were on fire against Montpellier the other day. We’ll need this, but 10 times as crazy,” concludes the Spanish goalkeeper. 


TEXT: Kevin Domas / cg
 
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