Linz AG Froschberg is fighting today (7:30 p.m.) in Normandy for the last chance to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League. After two defeats and around ten hours of travel by car, plane (Vienna-Paris) and Flixbus, Sofia Polcanova, Suthasini Sawettabut and Iana Noskova are visiting ALC Grand-Quevilly near Le Havre.
“We have to win this match – otherwise it’s over. We’re not giving up yet and are confident,” says club president Günther Renner, trusting his protégés to take revenge for the narrow 2-3 home defeat against the French.
The standard in the French league is high. “It is by far the strongest league in Europe,” confirms Liu Jia. While her former club colleagues only make a stopover in Paris, the long-time Linzer resident has pitched her sporting tents in the Seine metropolis. Last week, the 41-year-old celebrated a perfect debut in her new club Saint Denis’ 3-0 win over Saint Pierraise and contributed to a 3-0 victory over Lucie Gauthier. “I played incredibly well,” the former European champion was surprised at herself.
The density and balance in the French Pro A League is enormous. “Every team has five to six very good players, you never know who will be selected,” says Liu Jia. This is reflected in the Champions League, in which five of the twelve women’s teams come from France this season.
Catfish without a chance
Since Felbermayr Wels also lost the second group duel with Borussia Düsseldorf 3-0 at home on Sunday, the chances of promotion for Austria’s men’s runner-up are finally gone. Although the Germans arrived without old master Timo Boll and European champion Dang Qiu, Andreas Levenko against Kay Stumper, Jiri Martinko against Borgar Haug and Joao Monteiro against Anton Källberg were unable to win more than one set each. Today (home) and December 3rd (away) we play against Lisbon for second place in the group.
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