Chambery starting bright faded through out the game as SRVHB built up steam and took a cool five-goal win with them into the second leg
Dipanda performance gives Saint-Raphael advantage
Ahead of this tie everyone predicted a tough and close game and that's what we got, but only for fifty minutes.
Saint-Raphael Var Handball vs Chambery Savoie Handball 30:25 (11:12)
Chambery started off best in the game, with a stunning performance from Yann Genty who stopped the first four opponing shots and allowing his team to take a quick lead, 2:4 after six minutes.
But the home team then understood that defense would be key in this tie and toughened up.
Chambery had to try harder in order to score while on the other side of the court, Alexander Lynggaard was exploiting every breach he could find.
No team could manage to shake off the other and at half-time, Chambery was enjoying a one-goal lead, 11:12, thanks to a late-second goal by Da Silva.
The Saint-Raphael players stepped up yet another level coming back from the dressing room.
The defense was sharp, fastbreaks effective, and with wingers Raphael Caucheteux and Arthur Vigneron enjoying this shooting feast, the home side was ahead on the score board soon, and with a two-goal advantage, 16:14.
Even though Chambery managed to come back soon after, they finally exploded in the last minutes of the game.
Failing to score for five minutes, they offered their opponents the opportunity to break away and this one wasn't wasted.
From 18:19, the score went to 22:19 before getting bigger again.
Adrien Dipanda, Saint-Raphael best scorer tonight with nine goals, was key in the final stages while on the other side Chambery were relying too much on Melvyn Richardson and Timothey N'guessan.
Richardson finished top scorer with five goals but couldn't stop his team from losing 25:30 in the end.
Timothey N'guessan, Chambery left back, was of course not very pleased with the result, saying:
"We were hoping to win, or even lose by a small margin. Five goals is a lot, we lacked fluid play in the last ten minutes of the game.
"We'll sure do everything we can to qualify and we know we have the capacity to overturn this situation with our fans backing us".
On the other hand, Raphael Caucheteux felt "a bit surprised, we certainly didn't expect to win by five goals, but nobody is going to complain.
"This gives us a little cushion ahead of the return leg, but nothing to feel confident about. We'll only go to the finals if we perform with the same intensity next weekend".
Arnor Atlason of Saint-Raphael left "happy but nothing is done. It’s good to have five goals more, but the next game will be very difficult. Chambery can put us through hell."
TEXT: Kevin Domas / bc
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