CSKA upset Metz and help Vipers
The round 14 saw the worst-case scenario for Metz Handball, as on Sunday their rivals Vipers Kristianstad managed to defeat Gyori Audi ETO KC, and now the French team were beaten at CSKA, 27:26.
It means that Metz dropped to the third position in group B with 19 points and will proceed to the play-offs, while Vipers are ranked second with 20 points and earned a direct spot to the quarter-final.
CSKA (RUS) vs Metz Handball (FRA) 27:26 (12:15)
- former Metz player Ana Gros scored five of CSKA's seven opening goals, as the sides were tied at 7:7 in the 15th minute
- between minutes 18 and 22, the French team used a 4:0 run to get in front 13:9, as Ivana Kapitanovic did well in their goal
- early in the second half, CSKA also enjoyed a 4:0 run to take an 18:17 lead, and soon after that, a 3:0 run saw them pull clear at 24:20
- Gros was CSKA's top scorer with seven goals, but she got an injury in the second half and could not finish the game
- Tamara Horacek and Sarah Bouktit scored five times each for the French side. Their teammate Meline Nocandy scored the last goal of the game with six seconds to go, but it did not help the visitors
- Metz, who failed to earn a direct quarter-final spot, will now face Borussia Dortmund in the play-offs, while CSKA will play CSM Bucuresti
CSKA improved after break
In the first 30 minutes, CSKA did not really look like a team who would win this game. Their players made a lot of mistakes in attack, and the home side's goalkeeping left much to be desired. However, the Russian champions managed to improve a lot after the restart. Polina Kaplina stopped a number of goals and finished the game with a decent save rate of 32 per cent. And in attack, the hosts were more clinical, which allowed them to clinch a one-goal win and upset Metz.
Today we fought to the end. During the break, I asked my team to act calmly and stay focused. We corrected the mistakes that were in the first half, we began to play better against the Metz line. In addition, in the second half of the game, Kaplina acted well, and Sudakova scored very important goals.
I don't know if the result is fair, but it's on the scoreboard. We are very upset. We wanted to win. It was important for us to get to the quarterfinals, as we have a lot of matches in the French championship.