EHF Champions League

Efficient Brest leapfrog FTC with clear win

EHF / Adrian Costeiu

Brest Bretagne Handball maintained their 100 per cent record on home court in the DELO EHF Champions League this season, with their fifth win in as many games, 30:25, against FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria.

Brest’s goalkeeper, Cleopatre Darleux, had another outstanding outing in 2022, after saving 20 shots against CSM Bucuresti and seven against HC Podravka Vegeta, frustrating FTC with 19 saves for a 44 per cent saving efficiency.

Brest Bretagne Handball (FRA) vs FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria (HUN) 30:25 (19:16)

for the first time this season, Brest won three games in a row, leapfrogging FTC in the standings by owning the tiebreaker, with the two sides tied at 14 points after 11 matches

powered by ten saves from Darleux and by eleven goals scored by Helene Fauske Gigstad and Pauletta Foppa between them, Brest jumped to a 19:16 lead at the break, the largest amount of goals conceded by FTC in the European premium competition since November 2019, against another French team, Metz

Norwegian centre back Fauske Gigstad continued her superb run of form, putting 13 goals past FTC, her best outing in her career in European competitions, after scoring 15 in the first two games in 2021, against CSM Bucuresti and HC Podravka Vegeta

this was only the second win against Hungarian teams for Brest in 11 games played in European competitions, after the 27:25 one against Györ in last season’s DELO EHF FINAL4

only three teams – Brest, Team Esbjerg and Györi Audi ETO KC - remain with an unblemished home record this season, with the French side the only one to still have to play twice in the “Arena de Brest”

FTC crumble once again under the pressure

After starting the season with a seven-game unbeaten streak, FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria’s injuries have caught up with the Hungarian champions, who lost three of the last four games in group A. All of those came in away games, as FTC’s dream to seal their first ever DELO EHF FINAL4 berth is starting to unravel. The Hungarian’s side main issue was the defence, who has conceded 31.5 goals per game in the last two matches, after leaking only 26.75 goals per game in the first seven.

On the other side, Brest seem rejuvenated. Their last two games in the group, against leaders Esbjerg and second-placed side Rostov-Don will decide whether they qualify directly for the quarter-finals. But their attack surely seems on point, scoring an average of 31 goals per game in 2022, an uptick of nearly four goals per game from what they managed in 2021.

Pablo Morel, Brest head coach: "I'm happy about this game. The ranking is not important today. I'm happy because the team performed very well in defence and we played as a team, it's a very good feeling. We know FTC's situation at the moment, it's difficult for them and I hope they can find their players quickly."

Helene Fauske, Brest centre back: "My teammates put me in very good situations. We played as a team and we had a good defence in the second half."

Gabor Elek, FTC head coach: "Brest deserved their victory. We are in a difficult situation with the virus, the injuries but that's no excuse, especially when you look at our defence in the first half."

Angela Malestein, FTC right wing: "A player from Brest killed us tonight, she is sitting next to me, it is Helene Fauske. It's not possible that she can score so many goals against us."


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