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Champions League Men - 11 Apr 2014

Breathless Russian clash awards Orenburg


Two Russian clubs, Fakel Gazproma Orenburg and UMMC Verkhnaya Pyshma, presented new four hours long thriller in returning match of 2013/14 Men’s European Champions League semi-final, but this time reigning champion won by narrow margin: Orenburg – UMMC 3:

Two Russian clubs, Fakel Gazproma Orenburg and UMMC Verkhnaya Pyshma, presented new four hours long thriller in returning match of 2013/14 Men’s European Champions League semi-final, but this time reigning champion won by narrow margin: Orenburg – UMMC 3:2 (11:8). Vladimir SAMSONOV & Co. are going to the final thanks to better set-ratio (UMMC won 1st leg 3:2, 11:9).

Orenburg will meet Pontoise in the final (16-18 may, 30th may-1st June). Defending MECL champion is going to play for its third title in a row, whilst French club is preparing for its first ever MECL final.

Vladimir SAMSONOV fully deserved his nickname „Mr. ECL”, wining two games, so he has a chance to improve his MECL all-time record to 11 titles (already has 3 crowns with Borussia, 5 with Charleroi and 2 with Orenburg). Today he managed to beat Jun MIZUTANI in straight games, leveling on 1:1 after clear win of Alexander SHIBAEV against Dimitrij OVTCHAROV. Byelorussian had a last word in ultimate, decisive clash, defeating SHIBAEV in four sets.

Opening game didn’t promise too much to the host side. SHIBAEV easier than expected beat actual individual European champion OVTCHAROV. All three sets were quite close, but Russian concluded each set in confident style.

SAMSONOV had a big task to keep his side in good direction, but his rival was Jun MIZUTANI. Japanese, who took two points in first clash in Verkhnaya Pyshma, this time lost both his games. Against Byelorussian MIZUTANI had just one small chance, when he managed to save two set balls in first set (10:8, 10:10). Host player did an important step in late third set, winning three points in a row (7:8, 10:8).

Former individual European vice-champion TAN Ruiwu beat the best no. 3 player in MECL in last four years, Alexey SMIRNOV, playing five sets.

Orenburg again leveled when OVTCHAROV overcame MIZUTANI in four sets. Finally, SAMSONOV brought the victory to Orenburg, beating SHIBAEV. Russian missed good chance in third set when he led 7:3 and 9:6. Bielorussian concluded the match with 11:1 in last set.

The 2013/14 Men`s European Champions League semi-final (leg2)

Fakel Gazproma Orenburg – UMMC Verkhnaya Pyshma 3:2
Dimitrij OVTCHAROV – Alexander SHIBAEV 0:3 (8:11, 10:12, 9:11)
Vladimir SAMSONOV – Jun MIZUTANI 3:0 (12:10, 11:5, 11:8)
Alexey SMIRNOV – TAN Ruiwu 2:3 (6:11, 11:6, 13:11, 8:11, 7:11)
Dimitrij OVTCHAROV – Jun MIZUTANI 3:1 (11:6, 12:10, 8:11, 11:8)
Vladimir SAMSONOV – Alexander SHIBAEV 3:1 (11:6, 8:11, 13:11, 11:1)

Alex MILETIC, EWT

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