Nantes and Lada make it, Paris miss opportunity
Paris 92 needed to win in order to advance to the next stage, but failed in Denmark, while in group B, all four teams stayed in the race before round 6, but home victories saw Handball Club Lada and Nantes Atlantique Handball progressing to the next stage.
Herning-Ikast Handbold (DEN) vs Paris 92 (FRA) 25:23 (13:12)
- despite missing Norwegian backs Ingvild Bakkerud and Stine Skogrand and line player Mie Sophie Sando, Herning-Ikast took a narrow lead, 13:12, at the break
- Danish back Nadia Offendal, Paris’ top scorer in the competition, led the charge once again for the French side, scoring six times in the first half, but the French side only boasted a 44 percent attacking efficiency after 30 minutes
- Ikast’s 16-year old back Julie Scaglione, with two goals, and 17-year old back Mathilde Troelsen, who scored once, helped the Danish side replace their stars
- the Danish side proceeds to the knock-out phases of an European competition for the fifth season in a row, after securing two berths in the DELO EHF Champions League (2016/17 and 2017/18) and qualifying for the Women’s EHF Cup semi-finals in the last two seasons
- due to losing both their games against HC Zvezda, Paris finished third and are out of contention, while Herning-Ikast won the group and will face the second-place team from Group B, Handball Club Lada, in the quarter-finals
Paris fails at the last hurdle
Paris 92 side had a scoring average of 30 goals per game, but had their worst outing of the season against a depleted Herning-Ikast. A draw would have been enough for Paris to proceed to the next phase, but they led only twice and had a meagre 41 percent scoring efficiency, with no other player helping Danish centre back Nadia Offendal, who scored nine times.
Paris’ two losses against Zvezda were crucial, as the French side finished third in the group, losing the tiebreaker with the Russian side. Zvezda earned their tickets to the quarter-finals, where they will meet Group B winners, Nantes.
Handball Club Lada (RUS) vs MKS Perla Lublin (POL) 30:24 (17:13)
- Lada took second place in the group with six points; Lublin finished third with five points and are eliminated
- the Polish side had a better start and were up 4:2, but then a 5:0 run helped Lada to a 7:4 lead
- the home team went on to lead throughout the game; by minute 48, Lublin closed the gap to 23:22, but Lada weathered the storm and clinched a victory
- Valeriia Kirdyasheva was Lada’s top scorer with goals, while her teammate Anastasiia Lagina recorded 11 saves
Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK (TUR) vs Nantes Atlantique Handball (FRA) 26:29 (15:12)
- Nantes finished top of the group with eight points, while Kastamonu are last-placed with five points
- the Turkish team were dominant in the first half, their lead reaching six goals in the 25th minute (14:8)
- yet Nantes, led by Bruna De Paula in attack, fought back after half-time and cruised to a three-goal win
- De Paula became top scorer of the game with ten goals; Amanda Kurtovic netted eight times for Kastamonu
Lublin has practice in the Champions League. I did not change my opinion that Lublin is a very good team. We had no right to lose. Only a victory could give us a chance to go further in European League. I am proud of my team.