Metz enjoy winning start to the season
As Metz Handball's round 1 meeting with CSKA had been postponed to a later date, the French side opened their DELO EHF Champions League 2021/22 campaign with an away game against Odense Håndbold.
Despite looking somewhat shaky early in the match, Metz greatly improved their defence and cruised to victory. Both teams now have two points, but while the French side have played just one game, Odense have two encounters under their belt.
- Odense are yet to beat Metz in European club competitions; in three mutual encounters, the French team have two wins, with one more duel ending in a draw
- Metz took their first lead only in the 23rd minute when Camila Micievic made the score 10:9
- Bruna De Paula's four goals between minutes 21 and 30 helped the French team to create a two-goal gap at the break, 15:13
- Metz's superb defence restricted Odense to just eight goals after the break
- Odense's Dutch right back Dione Housheer became top scorer of the match with nine goals, yet her effort did not help the home side
- Meline Nocandy scored seven goals for Metz, while her teammate Ivana Kapitanovic stopped 10 shots for a 32 per cent save rate
Nocandy played a key role
This summer, 23-year-old Meline Nocandy became Metz's new captain, and the 2020 Olympic champion played a key role in her team's opening victory in the new DELO EHF Champions League season.
The French centre back succeeded in both scoring and setting up goals, and she was deservedly named the MVP of the match.
Congratulations to Metz — they played a good game and deserved the two points today. Metz played smart and the gap just was too big. We struggled a lot with the defence, and when we had the chance to score, they had a good keeper.