Although the Polish handball champions Vive Kielce lost in Paris against PSG 26:35 on Sunday, they managed to qualify for the Final Four of the Champions League due to their ten-goal advantage from the first leg.
The French champions were the clear favourites, not only in the quarterfinal competition, but were also considered as the main contender to lift the trophy.
However, it was Vive Kielce who stunned PSG in the home game, winning 34:24, notably due to the brilliant performance of their defence line and the goalkeeper Vladimir Cupara. It was only the second defeat for the French giant in 15 matches of this season’s Champions League.
In France, the favourites took matters into their own hands and were steadily closing the ten-goal gap. At halftime, the hosts were leading 18:11, and Kielce’s defence was not as solid as in the first game.
When PSG were ahead by 11 goals with ten minutes to go, they made a mistake during a player substitution, and were given a two-minute penalty. Vive managed to score two vital goals in a row, and PSG never regained the advantage they needed to eliminate the Polish side.
The Final Four draw is scheduled for Tuesday, May 7. Apart from Vive Kielce, the teams which qualified to the top 4 of the tournament are the Hungarian Veszprem, Vardar Skopje from North Macedonia, and Barca Lassa from Spain. For the Polish champions, it will be their fourth appearance in the Final Four of the Champions League. So far, they have finished third twice, and won the title in 2016 after one of the most dramatic finals in the history of the competition.