PSG clings to Elverum in the Champions League round of 16

Heavy favorites from their Champions League knockout round against Elverum, Paris didn’t really live up to their status as title contenders on Wednesday during the first leg in Norway. The French champion conceded an unexpected draw (30-30) against a rival who had eight straight defeats in the group stage…

A result all the more disappointing as PSG even had a five-goal advantage (15-20, 36th). It is true that the capital club was hampered by important absences, Mikkel Hansen (pulmonary embolism) and, less expected, Vincent Gérard (adductors) and Luka Karabatic (who only played a few minutes due to foot pain). But Elverum were also deprived of their star player, future Parisian Dominik Mathé (knee).

The Parisians initially seemed to take the logical lead, relying on Kamil Syprzak (12 goals), always formidable in the pivot. Leading the break (13-15, 30th), he widened the gap as soon as he resumed after a series of saves by Yann Genty (15-20, 36th). But he ended up paying for the stray bullets in a mess and his too lax defense on the two opposing pivots, Endre Langaas (6 goals) and Thomas Solstad (9/9 shooting).

“In defense it was complicated for us”

Raúl González, coach of Paris-SG

“We played very well for 45 minutes, but we made too many mistakes in the last quarter of an hour. lamented Raúl González, the PSG coach. It can get difficult quickly here, in a packed room, against this team that plays very fast. And in defense it was complicated for us. »

This draw tastes like victory for the Norwegians

There were also two periods of five and four minutes without scoring, which Elverum took advantage of to get back into the game. Although the Parisians, in the French Championship, appear like a machine that exhausts their opponents at the end of the match, this time they did not reach the end. A drop in tension that is definitely reminiscent of that of the lousy semi-final lost last year against Aalborganother Scandinavian team (33-35 after leading 22-17 in the 39th minute).

Five minutes from the end, Elverum took the lead for the first time (27-26, 55th). Luc Steins, always brilliant (7/7 in shots), returned the advantage to the club from the French capital with a minute to go (29-30, 59th), but Eric Johansson, author of a remarkable second half, equalized with a missile at the last second (30-30, 60). For the Norwegian team and its 2,300 spectators, this draw tasted like victory. Witness the gigantic smile of Thomas Solstad, who received his man of the match trophy as he limped after injuring his ankle late in the match.

Of course, nothing is lost for the Parisians, who have far superior arguments to Elverum, but the announced explosive quarter-final against Kiel is still a long way off. There will be everything to do on the return leg, on Thursday, April 7 (8:45 p.m.) in Coubertin. Against an opponent who has absolutely nothing to lose.

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