Rostov seal quarter-final berth with vintage win
Handing Brest Bretagne Handball their first home loss of the season, Rostov-Don produced a vintage display in France on Saturday evening to take a crucial 29:18 win in group A of the DELO EHF Champions League.
The Russian side have now secured a place in the quarter-finals, while the French champions have finished group A in fourth place.
- although Brest came in on a five-game unbeaten streak, Rostov-Don started with a 4:1 run and the French side never led in the game
- French centre back Grace Zaadi Deuna had her best outing of the season in the competition, scoring nine goals against her former rivals
- Brest lost for only the third time in their last 21 home games in Europe's top competition
- this was Brest’s second-biggest defeat in the history of the competition, but they also conceded their second-lowest number of goals — 18 — one shy of the record set against Györ in November 2017
- for the fourth season in a row, Rostov-Don — who have reached the DELO EHF FINAL4 twice — have progressed to the DELO EHF Champions League quarter-finals
Defence shines for Rostov
Throughout the season, Rostov's mantra has been a defence-first approach, which has paid moderate dividends due to inconsistent results. But when it really matters, defences always win.
It was the case once again at Brest, who had previously won all six home games this season. Limited to 18 goals scored, the French champions could not muster a comeback, which handed Rostov a spot in the quarter-finals.
I am very happy and satisfied with the result. We expected a difficult match — I know what it is like to play in this full arena. We were focused from the start, despite the week which had been difficult for us. It was important to take the two points and so we go directly to the quarter-finals.
I expected a closer and better game from us. From the start, we realised that it would be difficult. We really lacked solutions in attack. Rostov prevented us from playing our game.