Paris turn it around in Porto
FC Porto and Paris Saint-Germain Handball had not crossed paths in European competition since 2007, a clash in the old Cup Winners’ Cup.
Now, 13 years later, it was tough to pick a favourite before throw-off. Porto, one of the only two teams to have played six games in the first six rounds, had gathered six points and were undefeated in the last three rounds.
Paris, on the other hand, suffered their worst-ever EHF Champions League group phase start, with three losses and one single win, at home against Elverum back in round 4.
FC Porto (POR) vs Paris Saint-Germain Handball (FRA) 31:34 (16:12)
- The Portuguese side were quickest into the game going ahead by a five-goal advantage before the break
- The visitors turned things around in the second half, thanks to strong defence and some decisive saves from goalkeeper Vincent Gerard
- Mikkel Hansen was the best scorer of the game with nine goals for Paris, including his 600th career strike in the EHF Champions League
- Paris now climb to the fifth spot in the group
If Paris’ offensive performance could be summed up, roughly, to Mikkel Hansen and Luka Karabatic, it would be a huge mistake to overlook Vincent Gerard’s importance in defence. Between the posts, he did not concede any goals between from the 43rd-50th minute, helping his team turn things around.
A six-goal turnaround saw Paris go from three strikes behind to three ahead in just 12 minutes, enough to secure the win.
When they changed from 6v6 to 7v6 we had some difficulties but at half-time our coach gave us great words of creativity and encouragement and we got back in the game.