Kielce snatch important win in Nantes
The Match of the Week clash between HBC Nantes and Lomza Vive Kielce promised to be an emotional game for the French line player Nicolas Tournat. The 26-year-old changed sides last summer, moving from France to Poland, and Wednesday night's EHF Champions League Men play-off match was his first opportunity to play against his former teammates.
While Tournat contributed to Kielce's cause, scoring thee goals, Alex Dujshebaev and Andreas Wolff ultimately starred as the Polish side claimed a narrow one-goal win, 25:24, in France.
PLAY-OFFS, FIRST LEG
MOTW: HBC Nantes (FRA) vs Lomza Vive Kielce (POL) 24:25 (14:12)
- Nantes had the upper hand in the first half, taking a four-goal advantage in the 26th minute, thanks to their impressive defence
- Nantes' advantage could have grown even bigger had Andreas Wolff not saved a couple of important shots – which helped the Polish side remain in contention at the break (14:12)
- With Nantes only scoring three goals in the first 18 minutes of the second half, Kielce turned things around and led 20:17.
- however, Nantes came back in the closing stages and reduced Kielce's advantage to one goal ahead of the second leg in Kielce next Wednesday
- Kielce’s Alex Dujshebaev was named as Player of the Match
Andreas Wolff – winner of the goalkeeping contest
At half-time, Nantes were ahead by two and Emil Nielsen had already made nine saves. However, by the end of the game, Kielce had turned things around, largely thanks to Andreas Wolff.
Wolff's total of 10 saves might seem deceptive compared with Nielsen’s 14, but the German goalkeeper stopped two penalties in the last 15 minutes for the Polish side.
It’s really a pleasure to come here – where I started my career – but also a bit strange. For me, it’s like a draw. Nothing is done. We have to be really serious next week to reach the quarter-finals.