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EHF Champions League

Nantes secure play-off ticket with offensive feast in Elverum

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EHF / Kevin Domas

Last week, Nantes had the opportunity to secure a play-off ticket, but the French side lost to Celje at home, postponing any celebrations to later.

On Wednesday, against an Elverum side that had no chance to go through anymore, for 15 minutes it felt as if Nantes might have to wait yet another week. But, despite many important players being injured, and Aymeric Minne suffering a ankle injury in the middle of the second half, the visitors turned things around. Nantes scored 42 goals, setting a new club record for most goals scored in a Machineseeker EHF Champions League game.

Nantes are now certain to go through, but they will indirectly battle with THW Kiel for third place

Elverum Handball (NOR) vs HBC Nantes (FRA) 36:42 (18:21)

  • with the visitors struggling to find their rhythm offensively, Elverum piled up fastbreaks to secure an early four-goal advantage, forcing Nantes to take a timeout at the 12th minute
  • things completely turned around when the French side powered up defensively. Scoring 14 goals in as many minutes, Nantes took the lead and went back to the dressing room leading by three
  • once in the driving seat, the visitors denied any chance of a comeback to their hosts. Their offensive power was especially impressive, considering the loss of centre back, Aymeric Minne, who suffered an ankle injury in the second half
  • Alexandre Cavalcanti was pivotal for Nantes, scoring seven and also delivering five assists. Best scorer of the game was Elverum’s Tobias Grøndahl, with nine
  • Nantes scored 42 times, beating their previous record (38) for most goals scored in a Champions League
  • while Elverum have no chance to progress anymore, Nantes have now secured their spot in the play-offs. The last two rounds will see them battling with THW Kiel for third place

Alexandre Cavalcanti, a leader in the making

Thibaud Briet, Rok Ovnicek, Linus Persson: the list of players out due to injuries for Nantes was long before the game. And, when Aymeric Minne's name was added to it in the middle of the second half, Alexandre Cavalcanti took over his responsibilities. While his defensive skills have often been praised, tonight he scored seven goals, putting Nantes out of harm when Elverum started to come back. Despite a red card in the last 10 minutes, Cavalcanti was clearly Nantes' leader tonight

20230215 Elvrum Lund
36 goals from us shows that we had great chances, and we used them very well, but when Nantes scores 42 it’s difficult to win.
Børge Lund
Head coach, Elverum
20230215 Nantes
They (Elverum) started well, with many counter attacks. In the second half we turned it around and played more of our game, like we wanted.
Viktor Hallgrímsson
Goalkeeper, HBC Nantes

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