PSG handball took a huge option on Thursday in the quarter-finals of the Champions League by dominating the Slovenes of Celje (37-24) in the round of 16 first leg.
PSG handball is not yet qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions League, but it’s just like. Serious and diligent, the Parisian players have largely won this Thursday evening in Slovenia against Celje (37-24) in the round of 16 first leg, and are heading straight for the next round where they could find the Germans from Kiel, defending and victorious in Szeged (33-28).
The Parisians will however have to confirm this success next week at home in their room in Coubertin to validate their ticket for the quarterfinals, a stage of the competition that they have always reached since the 2013-2014 season. For that, they can afford to lose the second leg by 13 goals – or 12 if Celje scores more than 37 …
Beware … of the Covid
Even deprived of Mikkel Hansen, and despite the seven days of isolation following two cases of Covid (including Hansen) detected on March 22, PSG did not have to force their game to beat a private Slovenian team of five major players, list of injured which grew to six members from the first minutes of play, with the exit of Croatian Josip Sarac hit in a knee.
Paris returned to the locker room at the break with ten goals ahead (21-11), well helped by the parades of Vincent Gérard in the goals (8 out of 19 in the first period, 13 in total). The Parisians also took advantage of the Slovenian ball losses, to quickly project themselves in attack (11 in total). Back from the locker room, Raul Gonzalez’s players were able to control, with left winger Dylan Nahi omnipresent (10 goals).
The only real danger for Parisians between now and next Thursday could come from the Covid-19 pandemic, because with the knockout matches, the European Federation (EHF) decided that a team that would be unable to playing their second leg due to Covid case would be eliminated, regardless of the outcome of the first leg.