Brest seal second win in four days
Conceding their ninth consecutive loss in the DELO EHF Champions League, 28:39, against Brest Bretagne Handball, HC Podravka Vegeta’s chances to progress to the play-offs are slimmer than ever.
After Brest won their second game in four days, the Croatian champions need four wins in their last four games to still have a chance to progress to the next phase.
HC Podravka Vegeta (CRO) vs Brest Bretagne Handball (FRA) 28:39 (16:17)
- with their fourth win in the last five games, Brest Bretagne Handball secured their play-offs berth, tying CSM Bucuresti on the fourth place with 12 points, but also boasting a game in hand
- Brest’s Norwegian back Helene Gigstad Fauske had her best outing of the season and tied her best all-time performance in European competitions, finishing the game with 11 goals, after scoring seven times in the first half
- two goals from line player Pauletta Foppa and left back Kalidiatou Niakate each spurred a 5:2 run for Brest to start the second half, which proved to be the crucial point of the game
- Dejana Milosavljevic was once again Podravka’s top scorer in the game, with seven goals, the third time she hit this number in only eight games played this season
- Brest secured only their second away win of the season, which coincidentally was their third biggest in the history of the DELO EHF Champions League, after conceding three losses in five games, including a painful one against Buducnost BEMAX
Brest morphs into attacking juggernaut
Four days ago, when Brest hosted CSM, the French side won courtesy of their defence and an outstanding performance from goalkeeper Cleopatre Darleux. This time around, Darleux shared the duties with teammate Sandra Toft, combining for 17 saves, but it was the attack who propelled Brest to the win. Toft was especially poised in the second half, registering 10 saves, for a 45 per cent saving efficiency.
Norwegian back Helene Gigstad Fauske, who joined Brest this season from Herning-Ikast Handbold, is starting to get better and better as the season progresses, improving her overall tally to 43 goals in the DELO EHF Champions League, the second-highest amount of goals scored by Brest, after fellow back Kalidiatou Niakate, who has 45 goals.
Goran Mrđen, Podravka Vegeta coach: "Brest had great match against Bucuresti. They are great team and we knew that in this game it will be really, really tough. I don’t want to talk about the injuries because it sounds like an excuse but that is our reality we have some injuries and it is also affected on the game. No matter what we decide to play as better as we could and try to take that win. When we fell down and lost our power in the second half because our small roster of players our defence also fell down and we missed some goals.
Dejana Milosavljevic, Podravka Vegeta right back: "Brest played very well. For us the first half was very good after a long time. In the second we saw that the problem is rotation, we have to many injuries. Every week we do some other tactics because new players come. It was hard for us but we try to give everything from us and we will do it also in our future matches.
Pablo Morel, Brest Bretagne coach: "I'm satisfied with the win and the qualification for the next round. The first half wasn’t so good. We didn’t play good defence. Podravka made good attacks with line player and the wing and it was difficult. But in the 2nd half we played better, we continued to accelerate. So it was not perfect, but it was a good match."
Helene Fauske, Brest Bretagne centre back: "As Pablo said it was a little bit hard in the first half, we had to find each other in the defence. We were too far from each other and Podravka played really good and we tried to run and sometimes we succeeded and sometimes not. In the second half we were better in the defence and I am really happy about the game."