Second-half dominance hands Nantes away win
There were some similarities between all three quarter-final matches of the EHF European League Women on Saturday. In each game, the sides were level at half-time, but ultimately the visitors won.
The encounter in Chekhov was no exception, as Nantes Atlantique Handball pulled away in the second half to celebrate a 33:29 victory against HC Zvezda.
QUARTER-FINAL, FIRST LEG
HC Zvezda (RUS) vs Nantes Atlantique Handball (FRA) 29:33 (16:16)
- in a hard-fought first half, Nantes were in front 14:11 by the 26th minute, but Natalia Nikitina’s three goals helped Zvezda draw level 16:16 at the break
- the French side narrowly led 20:19 nine minutes into the second half, but then used a 6:2 run to pull clear, 26:21
- Bruna De Paula, Nantes’ top scorer in the competition, netted four times; now she is second-placed in the scoring chart with 48 goals, two fewer than Marina Dmitrovic from Braila
- Nikitina and Albina Murzalieva were Zvezda’s top scorers with seven goals
- the second-leg will take place on 4 April in Nantes
Kpodar and Hagman had impact
While it was not the best game for Bruna De Paula, her teammates Deborah Kpodar and Nathalie Hagman scored eight and six goals respectively and contributed strongly to their team’s win.
Notably left back Kpodar and right wing Hagman combined for nine goals after the break, which helped Nantes to take the match under their control.