Handball. Champions League (F): Metz takes the first step towards the Final Four

Metz handball players used the qualification option Final Four Champions League with Sunday’s victory in the CSM Bucharest arena (27-24). However, to reach the last four in Budapest (June 1-2) next Saturday, they will need to avoid the painful trap suffered last season when they squandered a six-goal lead in Hungary against Ferencvaros at the Arena. leg (32 -26, 26-33).

The second almost ideal period

So they will have to be wary of the experience of their three former Blues players Laura Glauser, Grace Zaadi and Laura Flippes and Romanian legend Cristina Neagu (35), who they called on throughout the match, in Lorraine. limit influence (9 goals on 16 shots, including 5/5 from penalties and 6 assists).

“Dragonnes” who aim for a second Final Four in three seasons (third in 2022), they built their success primarily by overcoming a major slump midway through the second half. After not scoring for just seven minutes, they gave the Romanians a 5-0 run to regain the lead and pull away (23-20, 49E).

Sako wins his duel against Glauser

First, they negotiated well the temporary exclusion of Louis Burgaard (from 43E at 45E) then highlighted the full range of their attacking game, enhanced by another Dane Kristina Jorgensen (7/12 and 12 assists): two goals from captain ChloƩ Valentini (7/7), one after another patient work to move him to the left wing, the other after a lightning counter-attack, then one from Sarah Bouktit found behind the defense (7/8 including 1/1 from the penalty).

Messines, who were also helped by the saves of Hatadou Sak (18 saves on 40 shots, 45% success), who won his goalkeeping duel for the French team against Glauser (9/29, 31%), struck for the second time with 3-0 (27- 22, 57E), using Zaadi’s temporary exclusion in particular. However, they can regret the three less controlled final minutes, which allowed CSM to reduce the final difference to three goals.

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