PSG put one foot in the quarter-finals
After securing second spot in group A in an amazing end to the group phase, Paris Saint-Germain Handball travelled to Slovenia to face RK Celje Pivovarna Laško on Thursday night in the first leg of their EHF Champions League Men play-off tie.
Although the Slovenian side caused many of their opponents trouble in the group phase, PSG's exceptional attacking display saw the French side cruise to a 13-goal victory (37:24), leaving Celje requiring a miracle in the second leg.
PLAY-OFFS, FIRST LEG
RK Celje Pivovarna Laško (SLO) vs Paris Saint-Germain Handball (FRA) 24:37 (11:21)
- six minutes into the game, PSG were already up by four. Celje suffered six turnovers and missed four penalties, giving PSG the opportunity to cruise away on the scoreboard
- at the break, the advantage was 10 goals (21:11), which was also PSG's biggest lead of the half
- despite using their bench in the second half, PSG did not take their foot off the pedal. Thanks to wingers Dylan Nahi and Ferran Sole, the French side's advantage grew to 15 goals in the 53rd minute
- with his best ever EHF Champions League performance, PSG's Dylan Nahi (10 goals) was the top scorer of the match
- both teams will meet again next Thursday in Paris
Celje never recovered from Josip Sarac’s injury
Just one action into the game, Josip Sarac fell to the ground, holding his knee. The Croatian left back, Celje's third best scorer in the EHF Champions League this season, never returned to the court.
With their main offensive asset out, the Slovenian team took a while to regroup. By then, however, Paris Saint-Germain were already out of sight.
I think this game was very hard for Celje, since they lost Sarac at the beginning. Our defence was very strong and we got a lot of chances for fast breaks. Coming here we knew that Celje played a few really good matches this season and we knew this wouldn't be an easy match, so we are satisfied with the victory.