GROUP A REVIEW: PSG face tough resistance in Plock, but overcome the Polish side to finish with a clear win.
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Final Last 16 spot and top position still undecided
Both final decisions in VELUX EHF Champions League Group A will be made in the last round next weekend, as neither the top position nor the sixth Last 16 ticket are decided after PSG Handball’s win away versus Orlen Wisla Plock.
• The 29:25 victory was PSG’s 11th win in 13 group matches
• PSG wing Uwe Gensheimer claims second place in the top scorer list with a total of 76 goals, seven of which he scored on Sunday against Plock
• The hosts remain on eight points after their third home defeat of the season
• Sime Ivic finishes as top scorer for Plock with six goals
Orlen Wisla Plock (POL) vs Paris Saint-Germain Handball (FRA) 25:29 (11:14)
Despite a strong and brave performance, Orlen Wisla Plock could not book their Last 16 ticket on Sunday night. The Polish runners-up are two points ahead of rivals Bjerringbro-Silkeborg on the table, but lost the direct encounter against the Danish side by aggregate goals.
BSV were defeated in their match versus Flensburg on Saturday and will host Kadetten in the last round, while Plock will travel to Barcelona.
On the other hand, PSG did their homework to remain in the race for the top position with FC Barcelona, though the star-studded French champions needed nearly 50 minutes to cast off the hosts.
Plock, backed by goalkeeper Rodrigo Corrales, who will join PSG this summer and saved 10 shots against his soon-to-be club, were ahead until minute 24 and the score of 11:10. Paris’ defence had problems stopping Plock, while at the other end of the court the visitors’ famous back court axis was not as effective as usual.
Thus, Paris had to count on their counter attack experts to turn the tide: After Luc Abalo and Uwe Gensheimer started their engines, the visitors netted four consecutive times for the 14:11 half-time lead.
Plock managed to level the result for the last time at 15:15, and were on eye level until minute 46 when the score board showed 20:22.
Three hammer shots from Xavier Barachet (2) and Nikola Karabatic that took the score to 25:20 paved the way to the victory, and even a time-out could not stop Plock’s downswing.
PSG’s biggest advantage was six goals at 29:23, before Ivic added two more goals to his tally to finish on six and put the final difference at four.
TEXT: Bjorn Pazen / cg