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EHF European League

Title holders Nantes seal last-gasp win against Lubin

EHF / Adrian Costeiu

Les Neptunes de Nantes needed a last-second goal from Danish back Mai Kragballe Nielsen to take a 27:26 win against MKS Zaglebie Lubin.

GROUP B
MKS Zaglebie Lubin (POL) vs Les Neptunes de Nantes (FRA) 26:27 (12:13)

  • Polish goalkeeper Adriana Placzek was superb between the posts for Nantes, saving the first four shots she faced and enabling the reigning champions to jump to a comfortable 4:0 lead after seven minutes
  • Lubin fought back and finished the first half with a 7:2 run, spurred by three goals from left back Karolina Kochaniak-Sala, to cut the gap to only one goal, 13:12
  • the Polish side pressed on and took the lead for the first time, 22:21, with nine minutes to go, thanks to a goal from 40-year-old left wing Kinga Grzyb
  • but Nantes, who were down two goals with three minutes and 47 seconds to go, completed a superb comeback, crowned by the last-second goal from centre back Mai Kragballe Nielsen, her team’s top scorer, with six goals, to take the win
  • the title holders are back in contention for a quarter-finals berth, as they are second in the group, with two points, tied with CS Minaur Baia Mare and two points less than leaders Bietigheim

Nantes still work on their chemistry

The title holders underwent a serious makeover last summer and losing the MVP of the EHF Finals Women, Bruna de Paula, was a blow that they could not recover from. However, the team still looks strong enough to contend for a place between the top four sides in the competition come May.

It was not a pretty win, but the grit and the fighting spirit on display were enough against Lubin, despite Nantes boasting a meagre 54% attacking efficiency. With the doubleheader against CS Minaur Baia Mare looming, Nantes will take the two points, as Lubin, who are last in the standings, with zero points, will definitely learn something and add to their experience after a painful home defeat.

 

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