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15.11.2007, 09:28
San Antoino close to winning Group D
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Portland San Antonio are alsmost sure to win Group D after their second draw against GOG.
 

San Antoino close to winning Group D

With one match day left in the group stage of the Men´s Champions League, Portland San Antonio are practically sure to win Group D after their second draw against Danish champions GOG Svendborg TGI. The first meeting of the teams in Pamplona ended 28-28, and Wednesday night the result was 29-29 in Arena Fyn.

Henriksen in the goal was satisfied with the team matesWhile GOG were playing at full strength for the first time in this Champions League tournament, Portland San Antonio were missing Norwegian international Kristian Kjelling, who has a groin injury and will be out for the rest of the group phase. As playmaker Ivano Balic was also slightly injured and did not play in the first half at all, the visitors’ backcourt line was not effective before the break. Still, they managed to take the initiative after a GOG lead at 3-1 at the start. After that, Portland San Antonio were in the lead for most of the first half and the guests also had a two goal lead at half time – 16-14.

GOG never gave up

The Danes never gave up, though, and from the start of the second half they took the lead back at 17-16. Although Portland San Antonio, now with Balic on the court, got a three goal lead at 19-22, the home team managed to come back once again at 23-22.

The rest of the match became a thriller and the 3,500 spectators supported their team more and more enthusiastically as they saw the win coming within reach.

With 4 minutes left GOG were leading 28-26 – but with one minute and ten seconds left Portland San Antonio were 28-29 ahead. The intensive match ended in a well deserved 29-29 draw at the end.

Annoyed goalkeeper

“We cannot really use this result for anything as we still have to win our last match at home against Bregenz in order to be sure to go on to the main round,” said GOG goalkeeper Peter Henriksen who played an important part in the result with 13 saves – many of them at very critical times.

Jorgensen (in blue) defending against Hansen“It is annoying that we made so many mistakes in our counter attacks that are usually very good. However, I suppose that our performance was okay in the CL so far with half our team changed before this season,” Peter Henriksen added.

“This was a fine result for us, as we can now win our group and go through with an away win against Tatran Presov. Winning the group is our goal as this will mean that we avoid the other two Spanish sides, FC Barcelona and Ciudad Real in the main round. They will probably both win their groups,” said Danish national player, Lars Jørgensen who plays for Portland San Antonio.

“We were not in top form tonight and I think GOG could have taken advantage from that, but I think they are on the way to build something really great and it is always fun to play against a team that focuses so much on counter attacks as GOG,” added Lars Jørgensen who scored four goals and played more in attack than usual due to Kristian Kjelling´s absence.

Portland San Antonio are leading Group D with 8 points after 5 matches, while GOG are second with 6 points.


TEXT: Peter Bruun
 
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