Both in danger, Nantes and Toulouse fought big duels away from home. The H managed to put down a nice game in the quarterfinals (30-33), but Toulouse will be overtaken in the second company and leave the competition (36-30).
After his incredible success on his landof 4 lengths, the Phoenix Toulouse Handball traveled to Portuguese countries for the return match against Benfica Lisbon† And from the outset, the Occitans show that they have no intention of undergoing the wrath of their adversary. Right away Nemanja Ilic firing at full blast, it was the French who took the lead (2-5, 5′). A gap that manages to run 3 or 4 lengths during much of the first act, despite the goals from Petar Djordjic† But as the end of the half approached, the Toulouse lost a few balls, while not taking advantage of their opponents’ mistakes. The sanction is immediate: a 4-0 against resuming the meeting (10-13, 20′; 14-13, 26′). The entrance ofAyoub Abdic starts the machine again, but in a very badly managed last minute his partners lose two balls and swallow 2 goals, including one in the empty cage at the buzzer (17-15, 30′).
A frustrating but logical setback
The second act won’t restart any better, and the French defense is permanently trapped by a Rogerio Moraes found way too easy. With a freed Portuguese attack, and Toulouse more approaching in firing, the local lead grew alarmingly (25-19, 40′), causing Danijel Andjelkovic to take a time-out. The latter will revive his men, who fortify their defenses. Fairer on offense and taking advantage of Borges’ exclusion, the Fénix manages to return to -3 on a goal fromErwin Feutchman in the empty cage (28-25, 49′). Add to that, Lazar Kukici, a real offensive poison, comes out after a light kick to the leg. However, the return of the loss of French balls will be perfectly exploited by the locals who go back in a flash (31-25, 52′). But in money time, the French will miss too many opportunities to hope for qualification. Sergey Hernandez is on all the balls and with a great save on Feutchman from 6 meters, he sends Djordjic to seal the fate of their opponents (33-26, 56′). The Fénix grows until the last moments in a comeback but for his last penalty his captain, as a symbol, fails on the door of Benfica. Chema Rodriguez’s men logically win by 6 lengths and advance to the quarter-finals (36-30†
Nantes strong in Germany
For Nantes, the journey to Berlin promises to be just as dangerous, and the French don’t have it only a very small unit in advance† Like Toulouse, the H got off to a perfect start and on the impulse of a good Theo Monar, take a first lead (4-7, 10′). However, and despite a good Emil Nielsen (8 stops in the first act), Hans Lindberg and his people return to the encounter. The Berlin wingers are precise, bringing a 5-1 to the Violets (7-9, 17′; 12-10, 25′). However, a final goal from Baptiste Damatrin allows the visitors to return to the locker room just one unit behind (15-14). There is still a lot to do during the break.
Minne and Monar crucial in the last quarter
Back on the floor, the H has a hard time coming back and has to race behind. And fifteen minutes before time, their opponents point 3 lengths ahead (25-22, 45′). It is then that the defense of the French will have more impact, and recovery of balls will allow easy goals. Aymeric Minne and Théo Monar party and Berlin gets a 7-1 (26-29, 52′). Much of the work is done and Alberto Entrerrios’ men manage to prevent their opponent from coming back at less than a length. Kiril Lazarov closes the game with his 5th goal and sends his team to the quarter-finals (30-33† After after knocking out Montpellier in the quarter-finals last season and climbed up until the finalde Füsche Berlin lost in the round of 16 and left Nantes to face the winner of Magdeburg-Sporting Lisbon in the quarterfinals.