PAP/Szymon Łabiński/Photo: Tomas Berucz
Nothing is clear yet after the first match, what’s more, Orlen Wisła Płock has odds of eliminating Nantes and advancing to the Champions League quarter-finals!
Wisła faced a real chance of achieving his greatest success in the Champions League. Although HBC Nantes is higher in the European hierarchy, the difference between the teams is not so great that the Oilers can only dream of being promoted. The Polish runner-up was not satisfied with the ticket to enter the knockout stages, which lost in the last round.
Sometimes Płock’s team did well. Marcel Jastrzębski entered the meeting poorly, and Ignacio Bioska’s entry didn’t change much. The first half was very modest in terms of effectiveness, with the exception of the efforts of Sergey Kosorotov and Dmitry Zhetnikov. However, after a bad start, they managed to get close to Nantes, so before the break … they again let their rivals in too much.
With the teams back in the game with a score of 14:18, Wisła needed some steam. It was given to Biosca, who started bouncing balls and Nantes sent a signal that all was not settled. After one of the saves, Żytnikow secured the tie 22:22 and 17 minutes before the end, Orlen Arena was in an uproar. Wisła fans started carrying Xavi Sabate’s team.
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Zhetnikov often took the blame, Kosorotov proved himself the killer. The Russian pair gave Wisła a 25:24 lead and the match began to resemble his rivalry with Nantes, with Valero Rivera and Kauldi Odriozola looking great. Wisła’s captains were supported by Tin Lucin, confidently taking penalties. It was the Croatian who even heated up the heat when, in the 58th minute, he gave a slight advantage (31:30) and forced a time-out for Grigory Kogin.
Zhitnikov continued his bid, but his goal did not give the final victory, soon after Tibaud Brett equalized. The Russian was supposed to be the hero of the last measure, but the throw was blocked and Wisła had to settle for a par. The most important thing is that the fate of the promotion is not decided and the oilmen will go to Nantes full of hope.
Orlin Wisla Bock – HBC Nantes 32:32 (14:18)
Orlin and Wisla: Jastrzębski 1, Biosca – Daszek 4, Lucin 6, Piroch 2, Serdio 3, Susnja, Fazekas, Krajewski, Perez Arce, Terzic, Dawydzik, Mindegia 2, Mihić 3, Żytnikow 6, Kosorotow 5
Nantes: Gaspar, Hallgrimsson – Marchand, Brett 3, Maine 3, La Brech, Pearson, Rivera 10, Cavalcanti 2, Ovnitsk 1, Damatrin, Portela, Macheda 1, Toto 2, Munnar 3, Odriozola 5
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