The handball players from Metz overpowered the Slovenes of Ljubljana by winning 33 to 27 late Saturday afternoon in their arenas, for their second victory in three matches of the group stage of the Champions League.
The game of Metz, a team in reconstruction after the departure of five key players in the workforce (Grâce Zaadi, Laura Glauser, Laura Flippes, Xenia Smits, Marion Maubon), is starting to be well established.
After an entry defeat in Bucharest (31-26), the players of Emmanuel Mayonnade chained two great successes on the European scene, each time at home against the Germans of Bietigheim (36-27) and against Ljubljana (33 -27).
The Slovenes had given a hard time to two supposedly superior teams: they had lost a goal against the Norwegians of Kristiansand (27-26) at home, and had snatched the draw in Rostov (23-23).
On Saturday, Orlane Kanor's teammates perfectly took the measure of Ljubljana, in particular thanks to the Slovenian left-back Tjasa Stanko, who arrived this summer from Koprivnica (Croatia) and who returned a flawless copy: 4 out of 4 to the jets at 7 meters, and 4 of 4 in the game.
In goals, Senegalese Hatadou Sako did the job with 12 saves (33%).
After a complicated trip to Fleury on Wednesday in the French league, Metz will have a big test next week in C1, with a duel against Rostov, rear base of the Russian selection led by Anna Vyakhireva, for a reunion with Zaadi, on the shores of the Sea of Azov and the Don River.
To compete in the rest of the competition, Metz must take one of the first six places in its group at the end of the 14 meetings of the group stage.
The first two teams qualify for the quarterfinals, the other four must go through a barrage of access to the quarterfinals.
© 2020 AFP