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26.11.2007, 10:34
Celje’s happy end
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The Slovenians win against Gummersbach at home and reach the Main Round from the most difficult group of the CL.
 

Celje’s happy end

Celje Pivovarna Lasko needed only one point to reach the Main Round of the Champions League and the Slovenian club did even better. In the superb atmosphere of Zlatorog hall, the Slovenian champions have beaten Gummersbach. The other Slovenian side, Gorenje also won in Sarajevo.

The key to the Celje success was the draw in Veszprém"The 10 most difficult days of my life are just over. I think I will finally be able to sleep again," said Celje's coach, Slavko Ivezic after the match. He added: "I’m so happy that my players were able to cope with such a pressure." It could not finish better for Celje in Round 6 of Group F.

After beating Hungarian Veszprém, they also took two points from the German club Gummersbach. In a loud atmosphere in front of 6,000 spectators, the team "woke up" in the second half.

The guests took the initiative in the first 30 minutes. From the 13th minute on, Gummersbach had the lead. Adrian Wagner took advantage of all the mistakes of Celje in attack. The 5-1 defensive formation could not stop Gummersbach either. From the 25th to 30th minute Celje could not score and went to break with two goals down.

Rezar locked his goal

Aljosa Rezar took Celje's destiny in his hands after the break. Celje’s goalkeeper made great saves and he helped his team to a few quick goals. Celje equalized for the first time in the 48th minute. But not only Rezar, the 6-0 defensive formation also stopped Gummersbach. The Germans had many problems between the 40th and the 50th minute when neither Roman Pungartnik, nor Momir Ilisc, Adrian Wagner or any other player could score. Celje's 5:0 run turned the result and the hall “exploded”. Celje celebrated their third victory of the season. Even more importantly, this victory also means a ticket for the Main Round.

In the next stage, Celje will be joined by the other Slovenian side. Gorenje played concentrated in Sarajevo against Bosna and confirmed their second place of Group H.

Team spirit prevails

The hero of Celje was Aljosa Rezar with 16 saves:

Zlatorog hall celebrated again"Of course my saves were important, but we won with team work. We reached this victory together. I think we made a big step, it would have been a shame for Celje not to qualify from the group stage."

Slovenian Roman Pungartnik played in his home town and against former club after many years.

"I said before the Champions League draw that I did not want to play against Celje, but it happened. I’m happy to be here and I think we dismissed all rumors that we would not play with full effort. We were fighting, but Celje were better in this fantastic atmosphere," admitted Pungartnik who can also turn his attention to the Main Round draw now as Gummersbach finished on top of Group F.


TEXT: Maja Mastnak
 
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