Inspirational Darleux lifts Brest past sorry CSM
For 10 minutes, it looked like CSM Bucuresti was going to deliver the first home loss to Brest Bretagne Handball this season, but the French champions bounced back with a superb performance from goalkeeper Cléopâtre Darleux to seal the win, 24:21
- by the time Brest scored their first goal of the game CSM had already gone up 4:0
- but goalkeeper Cléopâtre Darleux had a monster first half for the hosts, saving 11 shots for an outstanding 50 per cent saving efficiency, while CSM’s shot stopper Jelena Grubisic followed suit with nine saves and a 45 per cent saving efficiency
- CSM scored only once in the first 12 minutes and 26 seconds of the second half, enabling Brest to go on a 6:1 run that helped the French champions seal the win
- the Romanian side mounted a late comeback, cutting the gap to only one goal, 22:21, but their undoing was the lack of efficiency from their backs, who combined for 12 goals from 42 shots, with Cristina Neagu leading the way with seven goals, a third of CSM’s total output
- Brest followed into the footsteps of Györi Audi ETO KC and Team Esbjerg as the only sides in the DELO EHF Champions League with an immaculate home record
CSM are left frustrated in attack
CSM are no attacking juggernaut this season, but to be kept at a 38 per cent attacking efficiency is a new low even for a side that has been on a roller-coaster form, conceding five losses in their first ten games this season. Their meagre output was caused especially by an otherworldly outing from Brest’s goalkeeper Cléopâtre Darleux, who finished the match with 20 saves for a 50 per cent saving efficiency.
Brest showed grit and team spirit after starting the game without a goal in the first seven minutes and 31 seconds, but they certainly have not reached the same level from last season, when they went all the way to the final. Tying CSM for the fourth place in the standings, with a game in hand, is surely good for the French side, especially if they secure three wins in their next three home games.
Pablo Morel, Brest Bretagne head coach: “It was a very tough game as always against Bucharest. I am very proud of my team. 21 goals conceded against this team is a big performance. I liked the state of mind tonight, we fought a lot.
The close end to the match was quite logical. There was a reaction from Bucharest who tried things, it was normal for our opponent to come back into the game."
Cléopâtre Darleux, Brest Bretagne goalkeeper: "I am very happy. Our start to the game was not good but we remained calm. It was really a nice high level match. Playing fast is in our DNA, it's what we've been trying to do for a while. We are successful with that so obviously that was also the objective tonight.”
Adrian Vasile, CSM Bucuresti head coach: “It was a very exciting game to play and no doubt to watch as well. Cléopâtre Darleux had a fantastic game. Brest had the right tactic by putting pressure on us by playing fast. There were two teams of fighters. In any case, I'm happy with the fight we fought."
Yvette Broch, CSM Bucuresti line player: “It was a difficult game. It was complicated but we fought until the end."