MATCH PREVIEW: A two-goal away win has set the French side up perfectly against Höör in the Women’s Challenge Cup Final
Issy-Paris must hold their nerve at home
Women’s Challenge Cup Final, second leg
Having won the first leg 21:19 in Sweden, Issy Paris are within touching distance of their first European trophy.
But in order to grab it, coach Arnaud Gandais hopes they will be more focused than in the quarter-finals, when they notably conceded a draw at home against Slavia Praha : "Höor showed last weekend that they had quality, and that they were able to cause us some problems. We are playing a lot of games at the moment, maybe chasing too many rabbits at once.
“We've got a lot of ambition and we really need to play our best handball in order to achieve the first of them, winning a European Cup,” Gandais told eurohandball.com
Although they imploded last season when they met Hypo NÖ in the Cup Winners' Cup Final, Amélie Goudjo, the team's captain, is confident her team has grown up and learnt from its mistakes : "We know we put too much pressure on ourselves last time. Playing the return match at home is an advantage we didn't have then, and so is winning the first leg in Sweden. But we don't forget that they lead the game at some points, so nothing is yet certain.”
In the other camp, Höör coach Niklas Harris sounds as hopeful as he possibly could: “We feel very confident before our trip to France. On Wednesday night we had a great performance in the Swedish play-offs against Sävehof, who are among the eight best teams in Europe, and even though we lost 26:23, I am very content with our performance, which gives a lot of promise ahead of our match in Paris.
“After the first match I said that our chance for the overall win was 20 per cent. Now I would say that at is at least 20 per cent. We go to Paris with the expressed aim to win by at least three goals – or to win by two and score at least 21, and I do not see this as being impossible at all.
“Paris is a great team to play against and there was a great atmosphere between the two teams after the first match, so this is just another reason why we are really looking forward to that match in Paris," concluded Harris.
TEXT: Kevin Domas / cor
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