Everything still to be decided between Nantes and Berlin
Earlier this week, Nantes winger David Balaguer compared tonight’s game to the ones his club had played earlier against Barça or Rhein-Neckar Löwen in the EHF Champions League. And the high-octane face-off between two of the favourites for the competition definitely belonged among the top games we have seen this season.
Both teams had the opportunity to make a break regarding the qualification, with Berlin taking a five-goal advantage before Nantes came back and enjoyed a three-goal one for themselves with a couple of minutes left to play.
In the end, only goal separated both teams before the second leg, promising another exciting game next week.
HBC Nantes (FRA) vs Füchse Berlin (GER) 25:24 (10:12)
- not once did Nantes manage to be ahead on the scoreboard in the first half, as Berlin took an early 5:1 lead, thanks to Hans Lindberg’s efficiency
- Füchse increased their advantage to four goals shortly after the break and even missed three chances to make it an even bigger lead
- thanks to goalkeeper Emil Nielsen, Nantes turned things around, not taking any goals for seven minutes to score a 5:0 series and take a three-goal advantage
- Milos Vujovic scored a last-second goal to drag Berlin back within one, keeping his team’s dreams alive ahead of the second leg
- Hans Lindberg finished as top scorer of the game, with seven goals for Berlin
Dejan Milosavljev, the Berlin wall
The Serbian goalkeeper celebrated his 26th birthday just two weeks ago, but tonight, he crashed Nantes’ party with no mercy; 9 saves in the first half, another 9 in the second. After 40 minutes, he had stopped more than half the shots aimed at him. If he helped Füchse take the advantage in the first part, he was instrumental in keeping them on top in the second half.
Nantes deserved the victory when we look at the last 10-12 minutes. We fought and struggled. It was a game for goalkeepers, they were exceptional.