Nantes celebrate first victory in two months
After their sensational 35:27 victory at Kiel on 24 September, HBC Nantes had lost their only two subsequent matches played in the EHF Champions League Men. On Wednesday, they had a quite easy night at Celje, taking the points with a comfortable 31:25 win.
The French side's only two wins this season have been recorded away from home, while Celje have now gone 54 weeks without a Champions League home win.
RK Celje Pivovarna Laško (SLO) vs HBC Nantes (FRA) 25:31 (11:13)
- Celje’s only leads in the whole match were at 1:0 and 4:3
- Nantes' 5:0 run from 12:11 to 17:11 was crucial, and the match was sealed when they lead by eight (20:12) in the 37th minute
- both goalkeepers produced top performances: Celje’s Filip Ivic saved 15 shots, while Nantes' Emil Nielsen stopped 13
- Slovenian international Rok Ovnicek, who had transferred from Celje to Nantes in the summer of 2019, scored five goals
- Celje travel to Ukraine to face HC Motor in the next round; Nantes' next match is at Zagreb
Six goals and huge footprints to fill for Milan Milic
22-year-old Serbian right back Milan Milic is expected to become the successor of Macedonian legend Kiril Lazarov at HBC Nantes. Milic arrived this summer from the legendary Metaloplastika club, who were the best club side globally in the 1980s.
Before he joined HBC Nantes, Milic was the fourth best scorer in the SEHA League in 2019/20. Before Wednesday night, he had only one EHF Champions League goal to his tally – but he added six against Celje and shaped as if he might be able to follow in Lazarov’s footprints.
We had a very good match, We were great in defence, and in the second half we have improved and played faster – which was the key for the success. I am happy that some players who returned after injury played at a high level at the end of the match when they got the opportunity.