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03.03.2008, 12:51
Flensburg out, San Antonio hope
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A thrilling 30-30 draw ended all hopes for Flensburg as Tomas Svensson saved a last-second shot by Christiansen.
 

Flensburg out, San Antonio hope

The slight semi-final hope for the Champions League semi-finals are over for SG Flensburg-Handewitt after a 30:30 against Portland San Antonio.

“Two home draws, two away defeats – we did not do enough to reach the semi-finals,” comments the left winger Lars Christiansen.

Nikolic scored spectacular goals in FlensburgThe Danish had the winning goal in his hand. Or was it maybe only a small chance? With Marcin Lijewski wearing the goalkeeper’s shirt, Alexander could have gone on goal just 7 seconds from the end. Instead, he passed the ball on and Lars Christiansen had to take the responsibility at the end. He shot from a very tight angle and the “very clever 40-year old” Tomas Svensson saved it.

“For one of the best left wingers in world it may have been a good chance,” the Portland goalkeeper said. “But I could close the angle.”

The 5,801 spectators in the “Hölle Nord“ were very optimistic for a long time, though SG coach Kent-Harry Andersson was not satisfied with his defence. “We had big problems with Ivano Balic, most of all,” he said.

The Croatian (“The coach says I must take a couple of minutes of break“) sat on the bench after halftime and the hosts seemed to take advantage in that period.

As Marcin Lijewski made it 21:18 in the 38th minute, many would have believed in a home win. In this phase there were two players who kept the guests within reach. The former Magdeburger player, Renato Vugrinec, scored five goals after the break, while the Swedish goalie Tomas Svensson stopped 10 balls including two 7-m shots of Lars Christiansen.

In the last minutes Ivano Balic returned. And how he did it! 26 seconds before the end the Croatian playmaker plucked up his courage and equalised at 30:30.

“Someone had to shoot,” said the Croatian later about this scene. “I have seen the space and the ball ended up in the net.”

Somewhat later Tomas Svensson was congratulated for his last heroic deed. However, there is still a long way to the semi-final for Portland:

“We must win the difficult home games against Hamburg and Zagreb and hope that the other results will be favourable,” said the 40-year old player.

“For me Zagreb are the favourites. The Croatians have six points already and an away game in Flensburg who will not play for anything.”


TEXT: Jan Kirschner
 
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