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Handball: PSG dismisses Plock and reaches the quarter-finals of the Champions League

Paris SG defeated the Poles of Plock in the play-offs without trembling on Thursday at home (34-33, 30-26 in the first leg) to qualify as a regular for the quarter-finals of the Handball Champions League, where the awaits a much tougher opponent, FC Barcelona.

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Handball: PSG dismisses Plock and reaches the quarter-finals of the Champions League

Paris SG defeated the Poles of Plock in the play-offs without trembling on Thursday at home (34-33, 30-26 in the first leg) to qualify as a regular for the quarter-finals of the Handball Champions League, where the awaits a much tougher opponent, FC Barcelona.

PSG will play in a short month (first leg April 24/25, return May 1 and 2 in Catalonia) its 11th C1 quarter-final in a row since its takeover by the Qataris of QSI in 2012, a meeting which will inevitably have a particular flavor for Nikola Karabatic.

The handball legend, who will celebrate his 40th birthday on April 11, will retire this summer after the Olympic Games, and his immense European career could therefore end with this double confrontation against a club whose jersey he wore two seasons, before leaving for Paris to win the Champions League (2015). The Parisians are still chasing the Grail, a quest passed this season through the play-offs after finishing only third in their group.

They had the margin against Plock, executioner at this same stage last year in Nantes, and did not force their talent on Thursday after having covered a good part of the way in the first leg. Even with only one professional goalkeeper (Jannick Green), in the absence of injured Andreas Palicka (like winger Ferran Solé), who has had little success for a long time (7 saves on 38 shots, only two in the first period).

The Parisians tightened their defenses and raised their level in attack at the right moments, to inflict a 7-1 on the Poles and take them in front by a few steps in the first period (13-9, 21st), then a 4-0 to regain their ease in second (25-19, 39th).

The capital's team, as often this season, relied in attack on the arm of Elohim Prandi (9 goals out of 10 attempts), the presence of Kamil Syprzak in the pivot position (7/8 against his training club) , skillful and valuable to stretch the defense, and the vista of Luc Steins, to serve his partners or conclude himself (4/5).

Nikola Karabatic waited until the last minutes to open his counter, but his two goals in quick succession (57th and 58th), the first in the empty goal after an interception, allowed PSG to definitively overtake Plock (33-30).

He is expected with his teammates on Sunday in Nantes, runner-up (five points behind) in a championship that the Parisians hope to knock out in order to then be able to concentrate fully on the clash against Barça.

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