TTCLM final, leg 2: Everything is open in Orenburg
This Wednesday, May 8th (16:00 CET), second match to be held in the all-Russian final: Fakel-Gazprom Orenburg – TTSC UMMC (leg 1 3:2). OVTCHAROV: "Worthy ending of TTCLM season."
Everything is open in the second leg of the 2018/19 TTCLM final, both sides stressed after the first clash held three days ago in the Russian city of Verkhnaya Pyshma, when four-time TTCLM champion Fakel-Gazprom Orenburg beat 2012 runner-up TTSC UMMC 3:2 (11:11 in games). They will meet once again in the deciding encounter, this Wednesday, May 8th (16:00 CET).
Bearing in mind the beginning of the first match, when YAN An was close to set up 2:0 lead for Orenburg (he led 2-0, 9:3 against Andrej GACINA who managed to beat him), UMMC has enough reasons to be satisfied with the outcome on its soil.
"When I was a player, I met similar comebacks, like Andrej GACINA did. Anything can happen in table tennis, an exciting sport… Everything will be decided in the return game in Orenburg. Of course, for us everything could have ended much worse. FANG Bo lost his first match, Andrej GACINA was in a critical situation. I hope that we can carry out our plans in the second leg", stated TTSC UMMC coach Tatiana KUTERGINA.
Andrej GACINA explains how he managed to survive against China’s player:
"I knew I need to give everything I could against YAN An. Maybe when the score was 2:0 in the games and 9:3 in favour of YAN An who thought that the match was over, but I did not give him a chance. I played every ball until the very end. Fortunately, my effort was paid off in the end", stressed Croatia’s player.
Fakel-Gazprom coach Vladimir ENDOLOV agrees that everything is open in the second leg:
"We were few steps away from a quick victory. But it is worth paying tribute to UMMC player Andrej GACINA. He managed to turn the match around. But this is only the beginning. My players have no big advantage. Everything will be open in the second leg. Even in the sets, we are tied at 11:11."
Dimitrij OVTCHAROV was man of the leg 1, as he beat both FANG Bo and Andrej GACINA.
"I think this is a worthy conclusion of the European Champions League. I have not seen such an equal fight for many years - both teams looked very dignified. I managed to beat FANG Bo in a tough game, and we had chances to win with a score of 3:0. Honestly, in my long career, I have not seen a Chinese player to miss a 2-0 and 9:3 in his favour... The game in Verkhnaya Pyshma lasted four and a half hours. This Wednesday, we are going to see which of us will cry, and who will celebrate…"
2018/19 TTCLM final, leg 1
First leg of the 2018/19 TTCLM
TTSC UMMC – Fakel-Gazprom Orenburg 2:3 (11:11)
FANG Bo – Dimitrij OVTCHAROV 2:3 (11:8, 6:11, 13:11, 5:11, 5:11)
Andrej GACINA - YAN An 3:2 (14:16, 8:11, 11:9, 11:9, 11:7)
Alexander SHIBAEV – Vladimir SAMSONOV 2:3 (9:11, 10:12, 11:9, 11:8, 10:12)
FANG Bo – YAN An 3:0 (11:5, 11:9, 11:6)
Andrej GACINA – Dimitrij OVTCHAROV 1:3 (11:7, 8:11, 3:11, 7:11)