Handball: Usam Nîmes, the European dream gone

Handball: Usam Nîmes, the European dream gone

Guéric Vincent et l’Usam ont été stoppés dans leur ascension par Limoges. Midi Libre – ALEXIS BETHUNE

Starligue/29e et avant-dernière journée. Les Nîmois n’auront jamais été en mesure de renverser Limoges (34-37).

Usam Nîmes 34 – Limoges 37.
Parnassus. Half-time: 16-17. Spectators: approximately 3,200 (box offices closed).
Referees: MM. Bounouara and Pichon.

USAM : Baznik (1st-24th minute, 3 saves on 16 shots including 0/1 pen.), Demaille ( 25th-60th, 7 saves out of 29, 0/3 pen.). Poyet (1 goal on 3 shots), Peyre (1/2), Gallego (cap, 4/4), Rebichon (1/1), Zuzo, Konradsson (1/1), Dupuy, Vincent (8/9 including 4 /4 pen.), Gibernon, Tobie (3/4), Acquevillo (1/4), Minel (5/8), Abdelhak (5/6), Sanad (4/7 including 1/2 pen.)

Two minutes at  : Gallego (3rd, 47th, 56th), Tobie (21st).
Red card to: Gallego (56th).

LIMOGES : Slavic (1st-30th minute, 3 saves on 14 shots), Ivah (31st-60th, 7 saves on 28 shots including 1/5 pen.). Guillaume (1/1), Kervadec, Ogando, Kusan (3/3), Dolenec (4/6), Iglesias (7/10), Turchenko (7/10), Gajic (cap, 4/6 including 4/4 pen.), Nieto (2/2), Fernandez (3/3), Hrstic (1/3), El Deraa (4/6), Petit (1/1).

Two minutes at: Kusan (23rd), Iglesias (35th), Hrstic (56th), Dolenec (60th).

Score evolution : 0-2 (2nd) ; 1-4 (4th)  ; 7-10 (16th); 11-11 (20th); 18-21 (36th); 21-21 (38th); 25-27 (45th); 29-29 (50th); 32-32 (54th); 32-34 (56th); 34-34 (58th).

We hoped to relive the madness of the match against Csurgoi, in November 2019 (9-1 after 11 minutes, 29-20 in the end), in a fiery and green-blooded Parnassus. It was a dream. We finally experienced a remake of Chekhov, in the round of 16 of the European League, three years ago. It was a nightmare.

We did not relive Csurgoi, but Chekhov

Against the Russians, Usam had never managed to erase a five-goal outlay (25-30 in the first leg, 24-24 in the return), or even hope to do so. History repeated itself against Limoges this Sunday, where we had to beat by more than 3 goals to reverse the particular goal average and secure a 5th place synonymous with continental qualification. Trailing 2-0 after two minutes, the Gardois ran after the mark and after the Limougeauds backs for an hour.

Never ahead in score

They will have equalized several times (11-11, 21-21, 32-32). But they will never have managed to get ahead and instill doubt within the opposing international and experienced armada: 10 foreigners, including 3 Spaniards, in the squad. Dolenec, what a player, again!

By straining, the elastic ended up giving way, and the future retiree Gallego sacrificed himself

And by stretching himself, the elastic of the score ended up giving way, and the future retiree Gallego, for his last at home, by sacrificing himself (red card, 56th). It’s such a shame to have won at PSG only to concede the following Sunday, so close to the goal. But the former Nîmes Nieto and his teammates, throughout the season, undoubtedly deserved more to see Europe than the Usamists.


Yann Balmossière (Usam coach). "I will remember that it’s already good to have hoped almost until the end of a season where we experienced hell at times. But disappointment is proportional to hope. Limoges' greatest consistency is rewarded."

Alexandre Demaille (Usam goalkeeper). "I’ll have spent two years here, but I feel like I've done ten. This is an exceptional group, the likes of which I have never experienced in my career."

Benjamin Gallego (Swiss army knife and soul of Usam). "I'm going to miss it. But I have a lot of brothers now."

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