PSG sluggish but victorious in Nîmes at the opening

PSG Handball negotiated its first game of the season well to avoid the trap set by the Gardois.

PSG Handball recovered at the start of the Starligue season. Beaten by Nantes in the Champions Trophy, the capital club launched its season with a victory in Nîmes (33-28) on Sunday at the end of the first day. But the defending champion suffered much of the encounter. The inaugural success of PSG, winner of all its league matches last season, will not however hide the collective errors that its workforce, relieved of several major players this summer, will have to erase.

Without Nedim Remili, Benoît Kounkoud and Mikkel Hansen, who left for foreign clubs in the offseason, but also without his pair of goalkeepers Yann Genty-Vincent Gérard, who had all been part of the team for several seasons, PSG must strive to find binder in attack and consistency in defense. Witness the eight ball losses in the offensive phase, which almost systematically offered the Nîmes easy goals in the transition game. This was particularly the case in the first period, where Julien Rebichon’s teammates punished the Parisians, and led at halftime (17-16).

The left winger, supersonic, was the spearhead of this ultra-fast game set up by Nîmes, and the Parisians only managed to stop it by committing gross, sometimes even dangerous mistakes. Halfway through the first period, the Nîmes could even have taken a five-goal advantage if Luc Tobie had scored after yet another counter-attack (12-8, 16th). A first turning point.

fickle defense

Another project that awaits Paris: the defense. In the center, in particular, the Parisians were too friable during two thirds of the meeting, despite the presence of the brothers Luka and Nikola Karabatic and the immense Dainis Kristopans (2.15 m) These two points to work on had already was highlighted during the defeat against Nantes in the Champions Trophy on September 2 (37-33). But against Nîmes, Raul Gonzalez’s players were able to pull themselves together twenty minutes from the end of the game.

They tightened the screw in defense and took advantage of the parades of the Swede Andreas Palicka, new recruit in the Parisian goals who was much better in the second period. The second turning point of the match took place in the 39th minute, when the Nîmes Mohamed Sanad was sent off for two minutes for a foul on Kamil Syprzak, who did himself justice (20-19). In the process, Paris took advantage of its numerical superiority to take a two-goal advantage, then three goals for the first time in the game (23-20).

Authors of a very good match for their first at home, the Nîmes never managed to close the gap, and even finished the game with a five-goal difference. For Paris, the main thing was to start with a victory and follow their competitors Nantes and Montpellier, who also won on the first day of the French championship.