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21.02.2008, 09:04
Entrerrios silenced Kölnarena
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A brave Gummersbach lose against Ciudad Real in the very last seconds: 27:28.
 

Entrerrios silenced Kölnarena 

4,710 spectators were yelling, shouting and supporting VfL Gummersbach in the Champions League against Ciudad Real for 59 minutes and 51 second. And then there was silence. As Alberto Entrerrios hit the net, you could hear a needle falling down in the big Kölnarena. A total disappointment in the eyes of the players and spectators when the final whistle was blown. The big sensation was so close, but in the end the favourite was the lucky one.

Zorman vs Sigurdsson: tough battle until the end“A draw would have been a fair result,” even Ciudad Real’s coach, Talant Dujshebaev acknowledged after a high-quality and tense match ending 28:27 for the Spanish champion.

Ciudad conserve their 100% record after the ninth match in this year’s competition and their ninth victory. But never before in this season were they so close to a defeat. Gummersbach showed a brilliant match.

Ciudad Real had to replace some injured players such as Chema Rodriguez, goalkeeper Árpád Sterbik and right back Petar Metlicic (broken hand). Still, they had enough world class alternatives with pivot Rolando Urios returning from a long injury.

It was difficult for Gummersbach only at the beginning against this team that VfL coach Alfred Gislasson called “a class of their own”.

After they knew how the open defence of Ciudad worked, they had the weapons against them. After 21 minutes, VfL were leading by 11:7 and everyone in Kölnarena was impressed by the concentrated game of Gummersbach.

But Ciudad – with only one goalkeeper, Jose Hombrados – came closer by halftime after some Gummersbach mistakes in attack and equalised at 14:14. Robert Gunnarsson scored to make it 15:14 in halftime.

Then it all seemed to go its usual way as the Spanish team started better and were leading by three goals for the first time in the 41th minute (21:18) – even with four missed 7-meter throws.

Only 90 seconds to go: still openBut Gummersbach fought back – building on the world class performances of the two goalkeepers, Goran Stojanovic and Nándor Fazekas. They stopped the Ciudad counter attacks and showed more concentration in attack and defence once again. Ciudad only scored twice in twelve minutes and Gummersbach turned the match at 24:23 (53rd minute).

From this point on Ciudad were never in the lead until nine seconds to the end. But in the decisive stage of the match, Gummersbach did not take the big opportunities. Even with two players more on court – after suspensions from Ciudad – they could not increase the difference.The last seven minutes were not only full of tension, but also they were the minutes of Alberto Entrerrios who scored five times (seven goals in total) and saved his club from the first defeat.

35 seconds before the end Gummersbach were in ball possession at 27:27 – Ciudad blocked several times before Momir Illic took the shot 15 seconds before the end. Hombrados saved and Entrerrios scored on the counter attack: 28:27. The last chance for Gummersbach was a Pungartnik shot that Hombrados saved again – game over.

“We had a great chance to win against probably the best team in the world, but we failed. This is very, very disappointing. A draw was the least I was hoping for towards the end, but we have no points now,” said Alex Alvanos, the topscorer for VfL with eight goals.

Coach Alfred Gislasson was also highly disappointed:

Urios played again for Ciudad“We were so close, but Ciudad had – despite some injuries of their key players – more possibilities to choose from. A big compliment to my team that showed a great performance.”

Ciudad coach Talant Dujshebaev commented:

“We were very lucky to win here. I’m satisfied with the result, but not with the way we played. We knew that it would be hard to win here as Gummersbach are very strong opponents.”

Before round four in the Main Round, Ciudad have the maximum of 6:0 points and it seems that the Spanish side are on best way to go through to the semi-finals. For Gummersbach the door is closing in with 2:4 points now.

“If we won in Montpellier and took one point against Ciudad Real, we would really have a chance to go on, which nobody expected. But now I think that we can concentrate a little bit more on the Bundesliga to qualify for the European cups again,” said Gislasson and he smiled:

“But we still have a chance to win the direct encounter in Ciudad Real…”


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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