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Beşiktaş vs PSG: Looking at the full half of the glass

Hentbolhaber.net contributor Dr. Altay Atlı writes about Beşiktaş Mogaz’s performance against Paris Saint-Germain.

Yazar: Dr. Altay Atlı - Yazının Tarihi: 5 Ekim 2015

Beşiktaş Mogaz lost the third match in Group A of VELUX EHF Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain with 40-30. Instead of telling the story of how the match was lost, let us have a look at the full half of the glass first. Beşiktaş demonstrated a balanced game against its strong opponent, perhaps not during the whole match, but at least in certain parts of it. Moreover, despite Thierry Omeyer’s superior goalkeeping performance, Beşiktaş managed to score a total of 30 goals. Now do not consider this as groundless optimism or cold comfort. It is true that Beşiktaş is still not able to maintain a stable game during the whole sixty minutes; but when it does, this team is perfectly capable of proving that there is not much of a difference between itself and the opponents with big names.

During the first half of the match in Izmit, and especially in the first twenty minutes there was a struggle between equals on the field. In this part, Paris Saint-German was effective in offense through the Danish player Mikkel Hansen, produced goals from the right wing with Luc Abalo, and executed successful fast breaks. When Beşiktaş possessed the ball, however, we observed that Paris Saint-Germain’s defense was not always in tune, giving large gaps to the opponent. In some positions, Ramazan Döne and Darko Djukić made good use of these gaps and scored goals; but in many others, Omeyer stood up well denying the home team several scoring opportunities.

bjk_psg_altayatli (3)
At this point, a special note has to be made about Thierry Omeyer. He definitely deserves the title of the best goalkeeper in the world. We do not have the space to tell all the saves he has done or give statistical figures about his performance. But we must share one particular position during the match against Beşiktaş. You know, sometimes goalies make a save, but then the ball is regained by the attacking team and is shot again to the goal. If the goalkeeper manages to save again, he or she gets a lot of applause. Omeyer did this, but with a difference: he saved not two but three consecutive shots during a single Beşiktaş attack! This is really magic.

As the end of the first half neared we saw Beşiktaş falling short in power and the score gap widening. In the 20th minute the score was still at a tie, but the first half ended with a four goal difference for  Paris Saint-Germain, at 21-17.

In the second half of the match, Paris Saint-Germain’s fast breaks resumed at an increasing rate, and Beşiktaş found it increasingly difficult to respond. The home team could not construct the offensive game flows it needed and lost momentum as the team began to show signs of fatigue. In the meantime, the more experienced Paris Saint-Germain kept the pace and won the game by ten goals, with 40-30.

 Beşiktaş BJK

Beşiktaş’s highest scorers were Ramazan Döne with seven goals, Darko Djukić and Tolga Özbahar with five goals each. Tolga’s scoring percentage was exceptionally high, and it would not be an exagerration to say that he has been the only player against whom Omeyer remained helpless. If in offense, Beşiktaş could have brought the ball to the line more often, more goals could have been produced from this position. During the latter parts of the game, Beşiktaş’s coach Müfit Arın took his younger players to the field, and these youngsters proved that they could stand on their feet against the giants of handball. Let us take this opportunity to make note of the 18-year old Ömer Mercan’s beautiful goal from the right back position.

During the entire game, Paris Saint-Germain made efficient use of fast breaks. Whenever the opponent scores a goal, or the ball returns from the goalkeeper or the defense, Paris Saint-Germain is able to quickly return to the opponent’s field, and they do this at an incredible this pace. At one point, when Beşiktaş scored a goal, the speaker in the sports hall was still pronouncing the name of the scorer, when Paris Saint-Germain took the ball to the center line, executed a fast attack and answered Beşiktaş with a goal of its own. Beşiktaş failed to stop Hansen, who produced 10 goals out of 11 shots in total. Nikola and Luka Karabatic brothers scored six each, while another superstar, Daniel Narcisse, did not stay on the court long enough.

Paris Saint-Germain is truly a parade of handball stars. But handball is a team sport. In offense you can perhaps score a goal through one or two long passes or by forcing the defense through an individual effort; but in defense there is no option other than playing as a team. It is precisely at this point where Paris Saint-Germain seems to be struggling. Having had difficulties in forming a solid defense throughout the entire game, the Parisians took in 30 goals despite the remarkable performance of their goalkeeper. You will remember that they had taken in 39 goals against Flensburg in the first week of the competition. So one gets the feeling that the superstars of Paris Saint-Germain are yet to combine into a real team. In the post-match press conference we discussed this issue; the coach Zvonimir Serdarušić agreed that they have been having difficulties in defense, whenever they were to move up to a better level of game play they were doing mistakes and they had to find a solution to this problem. Players seem to be thinking the same way. For instance, Henrik Møllgaard said that that it was a strange feeling after the game: while they were happy to have one, they were not satisfied with the game they have played. Paris Saint-Germain has some of the most valuable names of the entire VELUX EHF Champions League. However if they only rely on Omeyer’s saves, Hansen’s scoring and Karabatic’s efforts in defense, if they cannot play as a perfectly functioning team, especially in defense, they will be having much tougher times. Perhaps the Final Four might be out of sight then as well.

ömer ozan arifoğlu



Now let us return to the glass that is half full. To be honest, nobody really expected Beşiktaş to win this match, and at the end of the day they lost by ten goals. However, Beşiktaş’s players have shown what they are capable of without succumbing against big name opponents, and this is not bad at all. What matters now is to sustain tis performance, spreading the energetic high level play that lasts only 20 to 30 minutes to the entire game and ensuring stability. The glass is half full and Turkish handball fans expect Müfit Arın and his players to fill the glass, one bit every match.

Bu yazıya 2 Yorum Yapıldı.

  • Goksin
    5 Ekim 2015 09:31 Kullanıcı Profili

    İ watch the game but was not able to verbilize so fantastic thanks Altay. İt was a goal show though both teams’ defense were also Amazing. BJK needs more support also by the fans to watch the game in the salon.

  • Hentbol Haber
    5 Ekim 2015 09:56 Kullanıcı Profili

    Dear Goksin, We think like you and asking “Why did not Beşiktaş Mogaz HT Supporters came?”

    Maybe the problem is Salon location. Maybe another things.

    Whatever Beşiktaş Mogaz fans should support team!

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