Prandi steers Paris to Cologne
On Wednesday evening, Paris Saint-Germain Handball used their potent attack to beat THW Kiel 34:28 in the second leg of their EHF Champions League Men quarter-final in Paris.
A brilliant performance from Elohim Prandi, who was named Player of the Match, for PSG and THW Kiel's weak defence after the break were the two key factors behind the elimination of the defending champions from Germany.
QUARTER-FINAL, SECOND LEG
MOTW: Paris Saint-Germain Handball (FRA) vs THW Kiel (GER) 34:28 (16:15)
First leg result: 29:31. Paris Saint-Germain won 63:59 on aggregate
- in contrast to the first leg, when he was out with a fever, former PSG superstar Sander Sagosen was in THW Kiel's squad – but his seven goals from 12 attempts were not enough
- in the first half, PSG were only ahead by three goals twice – at 6:3 and 7:4 – and Kiel closed the gap in the closing minutes to one goal (16:15)
- both world-class goalkeepers – Vincent Gerard (PSG) and Niklas Landin (Kiel) – only saved three shots each in the first half. They were replaced by Yann Genty and Dario Quenstedt at the beginning of the second half
- six minutes before the end, Kiel’s fate was sealed when Sagosen received a double suspension and a red card after he said some words to the referee, although his side did score two short-handed goals
- Elohim Prandi (22) and Dylan Nahi (21) both produced strong performances for PSG. With nine goals in the match, Prandi was the top scorer; Nahi netted six times, which was one fewer than Nedim Remili
Defending champions miss Cologne for the ninth time
Since the premiere of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in 2010, no team has defended their title in the following year. Only three teams have won the trophy more than once in Cologne: THW Kiel (2010, 2012, 2020), FC Barcelona (2011, 2015) and HC Vardar (2017, 2019).
With Kiel’s elimination against Paris Saint-Germain, they are the ninth defending champions that have failed to reach Colonge. The only defending champions to have qualified for Cologne were Kiel in 2013 and Vardar in 2018 – but both failed in the semi-finals.
I had a lot of emotions during the match. I had so much fun. It was a huge pleasure to be on the court with my teammates. I would not change any of them. I believe in us since the beginning and I’m sure we will achieve a lot of things.”
It is a very hard feeling. Our goal was to go to Cologne. We knew that we needed to play at our best level here in Paris to qualify. Unfortunately, we didn’t. I wish Paris the best for the rest of season”