The first match of the finals of the French League ended with no winner.
In a flood of goals, Noisy-le-Sec and Marseille shared the points – 16:16. So, everything is still open before the return leg, which will be played in Marseille on Saturday.
Noisy didn’t record a win at home, but the Parisians can be satisfied with the outcome. They halted Marseille’s long winning streak. From the start of the domestic season until the playoffs final Marseille, the big favorite for the title, recorded 22 wins in as many games, but it couldn’t continue that series.
Montpellier opened the playoffs for 3rd place with a win.
2020/21 French Championship, playoffs
Final (best-of-two), 1st leg
Noisy-le-Sec – Marseille 16:16 (3:6, 6:6, 4:3, 3:1)
Noisy: Do Carmo 3, Petkovic 3, Marzouki 3, Rasovic 3, Peisson 2, Guerin 1, Blary 1.
Marseille: Crousillat 4, Vukicevic 3, Cuckovic 1, Vanpeperstraete 1, Spaic 1,Prlainovic 1, Vernoux 1, Djurdjic 1, Marion-Vernoux 1, Kovacevic 1, Camarasa 1.
Marseille was in front throughout the almost entire match.
Noisy earned an early 1:0 lead, but Marseille responded with five goals in five minutes and jumped t a 5:1 lead in the 7th minute. Even three goals were scored in the last minute of the first quarter, and Noisy reduced the gap before the second period (3:6).
Midway through the second quarter, Marseille rebuilt a 4-goal advantage (9:5, 10:6), but it couldn’t break the hosts’ resistance. At halftime, Noisy trailed 9:12.
Marseille opened the third period with two goals and streched the margin to five (14:9). Noisy was able to come back once more and cut the deficit to two before the final quarter (13:15).
Marseille’s Igor Kovacevic converted a man-up early in the fourth period for 16:13. However, the hosts produced a 3:0 run in the last four minutes and secured a 16:16 draw.
Ugo Crousillat led the visitors with four goals. Mehdi Marzoki, Antonio Petkovic, Viktor Rasovic and Denis DoCarmo scored three goals each for Noisy.
Playoffs for 3rd place (best-of-two), 1st game
Montpellier – Strasbourg 11:7 (4:1, 4:2, 1:1, 2:3)
Montpellier: D.Zivkovic 5, Kalinic 3, Ivankovic 2, Piot 1.
Strasbourg: Cesca 1, Missy 1, Babic 1, Markovic 1, Misic 1, Budjen 1, Valentino 1.
Montpellier convincingly defeated the outgoing champion Strasbourg in the first game of the playoffs for 3rd place. Montpellier stunned Strasbourg in the first quarter and a half. In the middle of the second period, the hosts already had a 7:1 lead. Strasbourg started coming back, but Montpellier controlled the game and celebrated a solid 4-goal victory.