Nantes made to work hard for victory over Leon
Despite a shaky period between minutes 20 and 40, the German side secured a well-deserved victory against Gorenje Velenje on Sunday afternoon, later, the French side marched in step leaving Ademar Leon behind.
- It was Nantes’ ninth win in their tenth home match in the EHF Cup group phase
- Valero Rivera (9), Aymeric Minne (7) and Kiril Lazarov (6) scored 22 of 34 Nantes goals
- Nantes had 51 attempts on goal with a 67% shot efficiency
HBC Nantes (FRA) vs Abanca Ademar Leon (ESP) 34:28 (17:16)
After three years straight seasons in the VELUX EHF Champions League, including a final berth in 2018, Nantes had a successful comeback in the EHF Cup.
But it took the side of coach Thierry Anti more than 30 minutes to break the resistance of the 2005 Cup Winners’ Cup winners.
Though Nantes were always ahead in the first half – several times even with a four-goal-difference – Leon was on an almost equal level at the break and even equalized for the one and only time at 17:17.
The match was on the edge until the 22:20 for the hosts, but when Spanish wing Rivero Valera had started his engines, the deal was sealed.
The 2013 and 2016 EHF Cup finalists extended the gap goal by goal. Netting his ninth strike for the 28:22 in minute 50, Rivera decided the finally one-sided game. Aymeric Minne by seven goals and Kiril Lazarov (six) were the top scorers beside Rivea, while three Leon players netted in four times.
Lazarov said after the game: "It’s maybe the first match of the season we played great during 60 min. We are already thinking about the next games, we have a lot of tough matches in February/March."Author: Björn Pazen / tj