It was hard, but the Blues are on their way to the quarter-finals of the World Cup: the French men’s handball team beat Andy Schmid’s Switzerland 25 to 24, Monday, January 18, in the suburbs of Cairo (Egypt) . She will start the main round with the maximum number of points.
They were hot: after a failed duel by Melvyn Richardson, the Swiss had the ball of the equalizer, but Vincent Gérard released the parade he needed against Mehdi Ben Romdhane.
Place now in Portugal, and probably in Iceland and Algeria. This is the rest of the program for the second week in Egypt of the Blues, who may have to do without their goalkeeper Wesley Pardin, affected in contact with Swiss winger Cedric Tynowski.
A withdrawal from the Aix doorman would be a blow to the selection of Guillaume Gille, as Pardin reigned over the opening shock against Norway (28-24) with his 18 saves. But with Vincent Gérard and Yann Genty, the two goalkeepers of PSG, the Blues have resources in the cages.
It also took some in the head to overcome the Swiss master Andy Schmid, already scorer of seven goals (78% success) in the first period. For his first World Cup at 37, the leader of the Rhein-Neckar Löwen did not disappoint, keeping the Helvetians up during the entire match (10 goals in total).
End of the game with a knife
The trap was to focus only on the center-half, the Blues had warned. Deploying as expected a game with seven field players, the Swiss also found the loophole through pivot Alen Milosevic (4 goals) and left-back Roman Sidorowicz (5 goals). Often by shots to the hip to which neither Pardin nor Gérard had a solution.
Despite the effectiveness of Kentin Mahé (7 goals on 9 shots), the French never managed to take off. Worse, Switzerland made a mini-break after a failed combination of Nedim Remili and a cons of Schmid, author of five goals in the first fourteen minutes (5-8).
After a quarter of an hour, Pardin made his first save on left winger Marvin Lier and France went 6-1 to regain the advantage (11-9). The injury of the Martinique, after a failed counter from Ludovic Fabregas, put an end to this dynamic. After a moment of hesitation, the Blues found the thread on a powerful shot from Mem, but Switzerland never let go, equalizing before the break by Sidorowicz (14-14).
The advantage of the Blues in the second half remained slim (19-17), the fault of a few approximations like this missed shot by Michaël Guigou in the empty cage. And Switzerland took the advantage less than ten minutes from time on a goal from Nicolas Raemy, served, of course, by Schmid (23-22).
At the end of the game with a knife, Luc Abalo gave France an advantage despite the exclusions of Romain Lagarde then Dika Mem (25-23). But the Blues almost suffered the same fate as Tunisia the day before, who saw their two-goal lead melt against Brazil in the dying seconds, before finally winning.