Stuck between two Champions League matches, the trip to Nice on Wednesday was a trap for a reorganized Brest formation due to this busy schedule. Facing a team that had lost its first three games, Pablo Morel’s players did the job (32-29) and can now turn to Ferencvaros.
If it was expected with regard to the form of the moment of the two formations and the differences in means, the affair was however not so simple for Alicia Toublanc and her partners. The Niçoises managed to slow down Brest’s attacks well at the start of the game and, offensively carried by last season’s MVP Eshan Abdelmalek, managed to level the playing field (6-5, 13′).
By changing their attack circuits to finish more often at the pivot, the Brestoises managed to make the first gap of the game on the scoreboard (8-11, 19 ‘). A gap of two to three units that they maintained until the break, well helped by Julie Foggea’s five saves, which made the difference where the local goalkeepers did not make any in the first act (13-15, 30’).
Money-time well managed
When they returned from the locker room, the Azuréennes came back to their feet and even passed (16-15, 35 ‘). The arm wrestling was launched, and the two teams went blow for blow (19-19, 40 ‘), enough for the Niçoises to gain confidence and begin to believe the feat was possible.
Especially in attack, Brest showed less lucidity for a few minutes (24-23, 48’30). At the start of the final straight, the Breton women managed to make the difference by tightening up the defense and proving to be more effective in attack, thanks in particular to Grbic, who scored a few decisive goals to ensure the essential (29-32, 60′). Now make way for a crucial trip to Hungary on Saturday, to finally unlock the counter in the Champions League.
Referees: MM. Bailly and Magnier.
PLEASANT. Goalkeepers: Micevska (4 saves, 48′), Samzun (0 saves, 11′); players: Sy (1 goal/1 shot attempted on penalty), Chambertin (4/4), Augustine (1/1), Prouvensier (7/9 dt. 4/4 on penalty), Holejova (3/5) , Fall (2/3), von Pereira (1/2), Le Blevec (2/2), Abdelmalek (cap., 8/11 dt. 1/3 on pen.). Coach: Clement Alcacer.
BREST BH. Goalkeepers: Foggea (5 saves, 30′), Darleux (3 saves, 30′); players: Mauny (5/9 dt. 0/1 on pen.), Toublanc (7/7 dt. 2/2 on pen.), Kobylinska (2/4), Jaukovic (cap., 4/7 dt. 1 /1 on pen.), Memana (1/1), Techer (1/1), Freriks (4/4), Cayez, Brnovic, Carlson (2/5), Jarrige (1/2), Grbic (5/ 6). Coach: Pablo Morel.