He was a lone rider. Opposed to the Entente Sportive Besançon Feminine (ESBF) on Saturday June 11 in the final of the French Women’s Handball Cup, Metz lifted the cup after racing in the lead throughout the meeting, in Bercy (Paris). Final score: 33-23. This is the tenth time in its history that the Lorraine club has won the competition.
Thanks to this victory, the players of Sébastien Mizoule offer themselves a double, two weeks after their title of champion of France acquired after an exceptional regular season (26 victories in 26 games). Meanwhile, the Lorraines had also pocketed third place in the Champions League, the prestigious European Cup.
Metz-Besançon in the final of the Coupe de France: the poster brought back some memories. This is the fourth time the two clubs have met at this stage of the competition. The last time was in 2005 and the Bisontines won. At the time, the Franche-Comté club was then a stronghold of handball in France.
Down in the second division, then back up in 2015, the ESBF – which ranked fourth in the championship this season – did not start as favorites for this final of the 29e edition of the Women’s French Cup. During its career, Sébastien Mizoule’s team had benefited from Brest’s “forfeit” in the quarter-finals: the Breton defending champion having justified his choice by rescheduling a league match on the same date as the semi- French Cup final.
From the first action of this final, Metz took the lead thanks to a shot from their left-back Orlane Kanor. Les Dragonnes quickly widened the gap (from 2-1 to 6-1) and went up to nine goals when a shot from Debbie Bon from the right wing crossed the line with great success: a favorable rebound while goalkeeper Sakura Hauge thought she had made a save (2-11, 18e).
Demonstrative with each of her achievements, notably succeeding in a “roucoulette” (a shot with spectacular effect), Sabrina Zazaï began the start of a comeback for the Bisontines: after her decisive pass to Kiara Tshimanga, there were only five goals left. gap (8-13, 27e).
In temporary numerical inferiority following the red card addressed to Tamara Horacek, for a penalty shot sent in the head of the goalkeeper just before half-time, the Messines saw their lead melt to four goals at the start of the second period. But they could count on their pivot Astride N’Gouan to get back out to sea.
Voted best center-half of the last World Cup, Grace Zaadi combined efficiency and spectacle with a lob from the penalty spot (14-24, 47e) and a “kung-fu” pass (with suspended landing) to Chloé Valentini (21-31, 57e). The Lorraines would have time to savor their coronation.
“Even if it’s a defeat, it’s still a beautiful memory”
In Moselle, this double cup-championship marks the end of a chapter. Centre-half Méline Nocandy is set to join Paris 92 for the next two seasons, while left-back Orlane Kanor will head to Romania to play for Rapid Bucharest.
“I will never forget this club. He is etched in my heart for life.”promised Orlane Kanor at the microphone of beIN Sports after the victory of his team. “It’s my birthday tomorrow, for once, we’re going to try to let go a little more than usual”launched his trainer Emmanuel Mayonnade, still sweating.
“I spent ten years in Besançon, without playing in the final, it was important to me to win it with Metz. We had a great game.”concluded for its part the international tricolor Chloé Valentini.
On the side of the losers, there was still the feeling of accomplishment in having reached this final. “Even if it’s a defeat, it’s still a beautiful memory. I will remember this game for a very long time.”assured Besançon winger Lucie Granier, who celebrated her 23rd birthday this Saturday.