Brest can’t do it in the Champions League

Brest Bretagne Handball lost to CSM Bucharest (26-33) on the second day of the Champions League. The European dream is slowly slipping away.

Everything is still playable. But this time, the defeat could be fatal. Brest Bretagne Handball is having a complicated start to its European adventure with already two defeats in two games. First that against Kristiansand, then that of last Sunday, against CSM Bucharest (26-33). A real blow for Pablo Morel’s players and a whole team that wants to go very far in the competition.

The French did not compete against Romanians above the lot. The Rebelles were not successful, both offensively and defensively (13-17 at halftime). Witness the 5 saves (out of 29) by Cléopâtre Darleux in goal. And the lack of aggressiveness in defense. “We didn’t make a single mistake so they were walking quietly in front of us”, explains BBH coach Pablo Morel. The club from the Romanian capital, European champions in 2016, dominated the meeting, in particular thanks to their three new recruits: Laura Glauser, Kalidiatou Niakaté and Grace Zaadi, three French internationals. He asserts himself as one of the favorites for the title like Brest, finalist in 2021, but for whom the future already seems unclear.

A harmless game plan

Pablo Morel recognizes it, even if the defeat is bitter, the victory is deserved for the Romanians. “We wanted to attack them by putting some rhythm on the big spaces. We absolutely did not see that in the first half, does he regret. It is difficult afterwards to hope for anything against such teams. They are the ones who led the game. We didn’t know how to get our hands on this match and impose what we wanted to impose. That’s the hardest part”.

With four points behind leaders Kristiansand, Bietigheim and CSM Bucharest, the objective of the first two places in the group, which allows direct access to the quarter-finals, already looks complicated. The BBH now has only one mission: to finish in the top 6 to be able to play in the round of 16 and dream of a European title. “We are facing teams that are reaching maturity. We face what is best at the moment. But we are not yet sufficiently mature and stable to be able to hope for better than that today. We still have a lot to learn. It will pay. We know that our hen is very dense. The goal is to get out of this group alive and after that there will be back and forth matches,” analyzes the Brest coach. This Saturday, September 24, the Brestoises will have to win their third match of the competition against Ferencvaros, in Budapest.

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