Metz knock down Buducnost to regain the top spot
The French powerhouse secured their sixth win in a row in this season of the EHF Champions League Women and defended their leading position in group B. Buducnost were only able to keep up with their stronger opponents for 30 minutes. Despite losing, Bojana Popovic's team is still on the safe side of having its play-offs spot.
Metz Handball (FRA) vs WHC Buducnost BEMAX (MNE) 29:23 (13:9)
- Metz were the first side to gain a more significant lead - a 3-0 goal run saw Metz in front by two with a nice goal by Chloé Valentini after a turnover
- Buducnost did not let go easy, fighting hard in the attack, but Metz's goalkeeper Hatadou Sako had a good outing with six saves at 43% efficiency which left Buducnost goalless for five minutes
- head coach Bojana Popovic tried to change the course of the match by substituting some players and using two time-outs, but nothing worked for Buducnost to narrow the gap
- Matea Pletikosic led Buducnost with seven goals and five assists, helping them to reduce the deficit
- Chloé Valentini was Metz's top scorer with six goals, and only three out of 14 players did not score against Buducnost
Metz remains unbeaten
The French champions extended their positive streak and remained as a group leader three rounds before the end of the group phase. Metz are well on their way to having their best group phase season since the introduction of an eight-club group system. In the 2020/21 season, Metz qualified directly for the quarter-finals as a second-ranked club after 10 wins and four defeats in the group. Last season, they had to win their way to EHF FINAL4 through the play-offs. By winning over Buducnost 29:23, Emmanuel Mayonnade's team now have eight wins, one draw and one defeat with three more games to play.
I can say it was a good game, Metz were of course favourites and they showed it. We had some good periods too and the girls fought until the end; we learned a lot to be better for the next games.
I agree that we were favourites, but it's not always easy to be favourites. I'm happy with the result and the content. Even if I think we have to play better at the end because they reduced the gap. We will raise our game for the next match.