Beaten by a goal at home by Kielce in the round of 16 first leg of the Champions League, Nantes and managed to win by three goals in Poland and will therefore play in the quarter-finals against Veszprém or Skopje.
Barring a disaster, France should have two clubs in the quarter-finals of the Handball Champions League. While PSG, winner of thirteen goals at Celje in the first leg, should validate his qualification Thursday at Coubertin, Nantes signed a real feat by going to win 34-31 in Kielce, after losing 24-25 at home in the ‘to go. Nantes had an excellent match, even if they had to wait until the last minutes to ensure qualification.
If the H conceded the first goal of the game, he was then no longer led during the entire first half, scoring up to three goals (8-11, 21st), but the Poles equalized at 11-11 (24th), and Nantes broke away once again before returning to the locker room (13-15, mt). The H dominated the first ten minutes of the second half (17-20, 35th) before seeing Kielce equalize once more (21-21, 41st). The two teams then remained neck and neck until 30-30 (57th), but Nantes managed a crazy money-time, with two goals from Pechmalbec and Rivera (30-32), to which Kulesh (31-32) responded, and Cavalcanti secured the Nantes qualification in the last minute.
Magnificent ! Valero Rivera finished top scorer in H, with 9 goals, while Emil Nielsen and Cyril Dumoulin made 10 and 5 saves respectively. In the quarter-finals, Nantes will be entitled to another big chunk, probably Veszprém, fourth in the last edition, who won by 14 goals in Skopje in the first leg.
Nantes markers: Rivera (9), Minne (8), Cavalcanti (6), Lazarov (4), Pechmalbec (3), Figueras (2), Balaguer (2)
HANDBALL – CHAMPIONS LEAGUE (M) / EIGHTH FINAL RETURN
Wednesday April 7, 2021
Aalborg – FC Porto: 27-24 (29-32 first leg) >>> Aalborg qualified
Kiel – Szeged: 33-28 (33-28 one way) >>> Kiel qualified
Kielce – Nantes : 31-34 (25-24 one way) >>> Nantes qualified
Thursday, April 8, 2021
6.45 p.m .: Meshkov Brest – Motor Zaporozhye (30-32 one way)
6.45 p.m .: Veszprém – Vardar Skopje (41-27 one way)
8:45 p.m .: PSG Handball – Celje (37-24 one way)
Flensburg-Handewitt is directly qualified for the quarterfinals following the Zagreb withdrawal. FC Barcelona are also qualified after their 37-25 and 39-19 victories against Elverum in the matches which both took place in Barcelona on April 2 and 5.