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Champions League Men - 12 May 2014

Orenburg pays respect to Pontoise


The 16th edition of Men`s European Champions League will be closed by the final games between reigning champion Fakel Gazproma Orenburg and AS Pontoise Cergy, as first leg will be held this Saturday (May 17th, 19h45 CET) in France. There are no secrets be

The 16th edition of Men`s European Champions League will be closed by the final games between reigning champion Fakel Gazproma Orenburg and AS Pontoise Cergy, as first leg will be held this Saturday (May 17th, 19h45 CET) in France. There are no secrets between these rivals who already met five times in ETTU competitions, last time in 2012/13 MECL semi-final when Russian club won twice (3:0 away, 3:2 home).

Orenburg has been considered as main candidate for the title from the very beginning of the season, continuing with its successful trio Vladimir SAMSONOV, Dimitrij OVTCHAROV, Alexey SMIRNOV. They will play for third crown in a row, trying to repeat Borussia`s run from 2009 to 2011. Belgian Charleroi is unique club with four consecutive MECL titles, from 2001 to 2004 (Romanian CSM Cluj did it same in Cup of Champions era, 1964-67), and SAMSONOV was a leading player of that team.

“We are preparing for the match very carefully. We are having a training session in Dusseldorf where we’ll try to design the forthcoming duel. Our rival is very serious; it’s one of the most rapidly progressing European teams. We have had five matches against this team in European competitions before”, said Orenburg`s manager Victor ANDREEV.

Orenburg beat UMMC in all-Russian semi final, while Pontoise eliminated its domestic rival Angers. They are now preparing to meet in second ever Russian-French final (last season Orenburg defeated Chartres in one of the most exiting finals ever, the winner was decided by set-ratio). Coach ANDREEV knows that his players must take Pontoise very seriously:

“We played against them in the European Champions League’s semi-final last season. The rival is well known to us. There are top world players in its staff. They have Marcos FREITAS, who playEDvery successfully against us. Though we are going to have a very hard and tense match in France, our team is strongly determined to win”.

It will be Pontoise`s first ever MECL final. WANG Jian Jun, Marcos FREITAS and Kristian KARLSSON managed to overcame Russian champion UMMC in group stage of this season, and that is giving him a lot of confidence before the final clash. The final rematch will be held on May 30th (13h20 CET) in Orenburg.

Alex MILETIC, EWT

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