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Champions League Men - 6 Mar 2014

Best of Russia and France put on the line


Within three days first semi-final games of 2013/14 Men`s European Champions League will be held, first time in the history with all-Russian and all-French clashes in same time: Angers Vaillante – AS Pontoise Cergy (March 7th, 19h30 CET), UMMC Verkhnaya P

Within three days first semi-final games of 2013/14 Men`s European Champions League will be held, first time in the history with all-Russian and all-French clashes in same time: Angers Vaillante – AS Pontoise Cergy (March 7th, 19h30 CET), UMMC Verkhnaya Pyshma – Fakel Gazproma Orenburg (March 9th, 14h00 CET). Both will be covered by LAOLA1.tv.

Judging by the national championships, Pontoise is clear favorite against Angers. Peter FRANZ`s team won 4:0 recently, but Angers` president Gerard SARAZIN believes that his side could surpass itself in front of 2.000 fans: “After the result in Pro A I think we have 5% chance. To try to make a little doubt all my three players need to play fantastic together in both matches!”

Angers, the 2008 ETTU Cup winner, plays its very first MECL semis, while Pontoise already felt it, but now has a good chance to reach its first final. WANG Jian Jun, Marcos FREITAS and Kristian KARLSSON did almost impossible when managed to eliminate German champion Werder Bremen in the quarter final, after 3:0 (9:5) away defeat.

“After we reached already the semifinal in the past season, we will try to go all the way in MECL this season. We expect a very close and tough match in Angers”, says Pontoise`s coach Peter FRANZ. “Even we won in the French league this will be a completely different game. It is the semifinal of the European Champions League and Angers is playing home with many spectators pushing them. Anyway we are in a good shape and we will try to get a good position for the second match home”.

Pontoise` president Mrs Louise ADAM wanted to add: “I know that the players want to give the best of themselves and I am confident in the determination of the team to succeed”.

Two Russian clubs already have big MECL battles behind them. Defending MECL champion Orenburg was better in the final two years ago, but UMMC beat them in last final of Russian League. Both sides expects new clash inspired by good play of two newly crowned individual national championships, Alexander SHIBAEV (Russia) and Dimitrij OVTCHAROV (Germany).

Fakel Gazproma is unbeaten this season in MECL, while UMMC has 5-3 score, after unexpected problems in group stage, caused mostly by home defeat from Pontoise. “It is expected to be a fantastic duel of the best clubs of Russia and Europe. The reigning champion of the Men’s European Champions League against the reigning Champion of Russia and winner of the ETTU Cup! It will be the battle of the Titans! The rival is very strong! Fakel Gazproma is preparing for this duel very seriously, all our players are determined to win”, stressed Victor ANDREEV, Orenburg`s head coach.

2013/14 Men`s European Champions League semi-finals, leg1
Angers Vaillante – AS Pontoise Cergy (Friday, March 7th, 19h30 CET, live on LAOLA1.tv)
UMMC Verkhnaya Pyshma – Fakel Gazproma Orenburg (Sunday, March 9th, 14h00 CET, live on LAOLA1.tv)

Alex MILETIC, EWT

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