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Champions League Men - 23 Mar 2013

Froschberg Linz, fear and joy


Just table tennis can direct a thriller that happened tonight at Linz`s Sportpark Lissfeld Hall. After 3:1 away victory in 1st final leg of Women`s European Champions League at Hungary, everybody expected that the squad with three Top 50 players on ITTF l

Just table tennis can direct a thriller that happened tonight at Linz`s Sportpark Lissfeld Hall. After 3:1 away victory in 1st final leg of Women`s European Champions League at Hungary, everybody expected that the squad with three Top 50 players on ITTF list will have an easy job in the rematch against side which best member occupies just no. 94 spot. But, it not happened.

After two encounters guests led 2:0 and destiny of host team depend on 19 year old German Petrissa SOLJA. Thanks to her, Austrians turned the match and finally won 3:2.

As in the city of Budaors, LIU Jia and Szandra PERGEL opened the clash. World`s no. 26 again saved several set and match balls, but this time Hungarian won in five games. Guest showed her best play at WECL, no doubt, dominating in each set, but missed several chances to cancel the match in straight sets. In second she led 10:6 and 11:10, in next one 9:5, 10:9 and 11:10, but the 2005 individual European champion couldn`t recover in fifth set after PERGEL`s 10:6 lead.

Promising Dora MADARASZ (world`s no 147), just 19 years old, was very close to provide one of biggest surprises in Women`s ECL ever. After very fast and confident play against no. 25 Iveta VACENOVSKA, who had no any chance to stop her, she upset full crowd by super powerful start against LIU Jia in forth match. Before that, Petrissa SOLJA saved favorite beating Cornelia MOLNAR in straight sets.

When MADARASZ won first set 11:0 against LIU, nobody couldn`t believe that it happened. But, host managed to recover and took next set. Guest again started very well in third one, knowing that just 3:1 win can bring the title to Budaorsi. MADARASZ led 3:0, but LIU turned on 5:4 and took that set. It was sign that Froschberg`s players and staff can celebrate their second WECL title.

Froschberg became just third double WECL champion, after Dutch Heerlen (2007/08, 2009/10) and Italian Sterilgarda Castelgoffredo (2005/06, 2006/07). LIU Jia and Iveta VACENOVSKA were members of winning squad four years ago. On the other side, Budaorsi 2i SC can be proud on her performances during this season. Hungarian side reached its first ever WECL final, showing tonight unforgettable fight.

Linz AG Froschberg – Budaorsi 2i SC 3:2
LIU Jia – Sandra PERGEL 2:3 (10:12, 13:11, 13:11, 9:11, 8:11)
Iveta VACENOVSKA – Dora MADARASZ 0:3 (7:11, 3:11, 11:13)
Petrissa SOLJA – Cornelia MOLNAR 3:0 (11:4, 11:3, 11:9)
LIU Jia – Dora MADARASZ 3:1 (0:11, 11:7, 11:6, 11:6)
Iveta VACENOVSKA – Sandra PERGEL 3:1 (11:5, 11:7, 6:11, 11:9)

1st final leg:Budaorsi 2i SC – Linz AG Froschberg 1:3
Sandra PERGEL – LIU Jia 2:3 (11:9, 11:8, 5:11, 12:14, 11:13)
Dora MADARASZ – Iveta VACENOVSKA 3:1 (7:11, 11:8, 12:10, 11:3)
Cornelia MOLNAR – Petrissa SOLJA 0:3 (6:11, 7:11, 11:13)
Sandra PERGEL – Iveta VACENOVSKA 2:3 (11:9, 9:11, 6:11, 11:7, 7:11)

Alex MILETIC, EWT

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