The first match of the quarterfinal between CSM Bucharest and Metz Handball ended as it wasn’t foreseen to end: CSM won 34-21 in Romania and basically decided the duel in the first leg. Even though the chances of Metz weren’t too high before the return leg in France, the French champions intended to say goodbye to Europe’s top competition in a good way: their goal was to keep their unbeaten run in Les Arénes in Metz. The Frenchwomen managed to say a nice goodbye to the EHF Champions League, still CSM Bucharest booked the ticket to Budapest to the FINAL4.
Metz started the match the way they were supposed to start if they wanted to defeat the CL-winners of 2016: right from the first moments, the French team had the lead. Right after the first 15 minutes, their lead was 3 goals (8-5). CSM wasn’t as sharp and concentrated as the week before while Metz was running like there was no tomorrow: in the final minutes of the first half, the gap doubled (14-8), mostly thanks to some great saves from Marina Rajcic. Before the halftime whistle, the Romanian champions scored one more, but the home advantage was still 5 goals (14-9). In the first 10 minutes of the second half, Metz was flying and in the 38th minute, the difference was 9 goals for the first time in the match (19-10). The miracle was coming in sight for the hosts, but in the most important moments, Cristina Neagu stood on the top of her troop while Bella Gulldén was confident from the 7m line. After Per Johansson’s timeout, the Romanians managed to stop the French momentum and the difference stopped growing. As time passed, the French chances were slowly fading away. Metz won the match (27-20) and said a victorious farewell to the Champions League, however, it is CSM Bucharest that will participate at the biggest weekend of the women’s club handball, the Women’s EHF FINAL4.
EHF Champions League – Quarterfinals – Leg 2
Metz Handball – CSM Bucharest 27-20 (14-9)
Metz: M. Houette 7, X. Smits 6, J. Luciano 4, A. Gros 3, B. Edwige 2, L. Flippes 2, M. Nocandy 1, G. Zaadi 1, M. Maubon 1
CSM Bucharest: C. Neagu 8, I. Gulldén 7, G. Niombla 2, A. Kurtovic 1, M.M. Frafjord 1, M. Mehmedovic 1
Penalties: 5/7 ; 6/6
Suspensions: 2 minutes ; 6 minutes