Nantes punishes Kiel in the Champions League

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Nantes punishes Kiel in the Champions League

Even against a diminished Kiel, a victory against one of the continental cadors is savored at its fair value. This Thursday in his lair, Nantes won (38-30) against the four-time winner of the Champions League (the last time in 2020).

Grégory Cojean’s team signed a fourth success in a row in five days in Group B of this initial phase (only setback at the start in Kielce, 40-33, on September 14). The German club suffered a third setback, after those in Celje (38-36) and Kielce (40-37) on the previous day.

Several absences in Kiel

If Kiel was deprived of several major players (the back and former PSG, Sander Sagosen and also two left wingers Magnus Landin and Rune Dahmke), Nantes also had its share of absentees (Aymeric Minne and Ivan Pesic injured, Théo Monar suspended ). This did not prevent the undefeated leader of the French Championship from offering a solid game, supported by a vigilant defense – quick to cause stray balls in particular on the passes to the pivot, converted into goals in particular by the Spanish winger Kauldi Odriozola, 7/10, top scorer of the evening – behind whom Viktor Hallgrimsson was keeping good guard (8 saves on 23 shots in the first period). With in particular a superb save on a lob attempt by Patrick Weincek, the massive pivot of Kiel (21st).

After being successful at the start of the match, Karl Wallinius, the former back of Montpellier, also stumbled on the Nantes wall (3/6). And as on the back base Jorge Maqueda (4/4) and Alexandre Cavalcanti (4/4) were successful, the H gradually widened the gap (17-12, 22nd), to turn at the break with a lead by five goals (20-15).

Up to twelve goals ahead

On its way, Nantes continued to develop a collective game with Rok Ovnicek at ease in the lead (in the long absence of Aymeric Minne, injured in the left ankle) unlike Kiel who stubbornly shot by far, like Karl Wallinius, but without much success. Enough to allow Hallmgrimsson to heal his stats in goal. So that Nantes has further increased its lead (26-17, 35th; 28-19, 38th). Counting up to twelve goals more than their evening opponent (35-23, 50th).

Filip Jicha, the Kiel coach, ended up bringing Niklas Landin (best player in the world in 2019) into the German goals, even if Tomas Mrkva had not been unworthy (9 saves). This Thursday evening, it was rather the rest of the team that was not really there, even if Domagoj Duvnjak (4/7) did try to provoke a reaction.

The victory no longer in doubt, Grégory Cojean was able to enjoy the party the young Andreas Hoffmann, who entered the relay (36-28, 56th) from Vitkor Hallgrimsson, impeccable and one of the great architects of the success of Nantes (15 saves on 43 shots).

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