Liu Song beaten in a seven games thriller by Gustavo Tsuboi
Photo By: Ricardo Ramos
2011 ITTF-Latin America Cup
It was mixed fortunes for the host nation at the semi-final stage of the Men’s Singles event at the ITTF/Latin American Cup in the Maracanăzinho Indoor Arena in Rio de Janeiro on the afternoon of Saturday 19th March 2011.
Gustavo Tsuboi emerged successful but it was defeat for Cazuo Matsumoto. Cazuo Matsumoto was beaten by Paraguay’s Marcelo Aguirre after Gustavo Tsuboi had upset the odds by overcoming Argentina’s second seeded, Liu Song.
Victory for Gustavo Tsuboi came by the seven game margin of 11-4, 11-9, 11-9, 4-11, 5-11, 11-13, 11-8; whilst for Marcelo Aguirre he succeeded in five games; he won 11-8, 11-4, 4-11, 11-9, 11-8.
Crowd involvement, passionate support that was the order of the day in the Maracanăzinho Indoor Arena for the contest between Brazil’s Gustavo Tsuboi and Argentina’s Liu Song.
Simply whatever the sport when Argentina faces Brazil feelings run high; for Argentina versus Brazil read Celtic versus Rangers, Liverpool versus Everton, AC Milan versus Inter Milan.
It is the third world war in sport; thankfully in the Maracanăzinho, there was no crowd trouble, as had been witnessed in the disgraceful scene follow the recent “Old Firm” football match between Celtic and Rangers.
The next time Argentina faces Brazil at table tennis the match will not be needed to be played behind closed doors as is proposed when Celtic next meet Rangers!
An absorbing duel between Gustavo Tsuboi and Liu Song was witnessed; the former captured the first three games, the latter levelled to force a seventh game.
In the seventh game at Gustavo Tsuboi held two match points at 10-8, the atmosphere was electric; at the first opportunity he converted with a rapid fire forehand wide to the Liu Song forehand.
The crowd erupted, Liu Song alongside coach for the day Gaston Alto, left the arena quietly, dignified, a true sportsman.
“I think after the third game I lost my focus somewhat”, reflected Gustavo Tsuboi. “He’s a good player, a tough opponent; he made many changes to his play after the third game; certainly having the crowd cheering for me helped a great deal, that was absolutely tremendous.”
Perhaps it made the difference that was needed for Gustavo Tsuboi to succeed but in recent encounters against Liu Song, he has a good record.
“Yes, last year I played Liu Song four times”, reminisced Gustavo Tsuboi. “I won three of the four matches but prior to that I’d never beaten him!”
Success for Gustavo Tsuboi but defeat for Cazuo Matsumoto, Marcelo Aguirre extolled his talents.
“I played at the same level from start to finish, from the very first service”, said Marcelo Aguirre. “It was a difficult match, Cazuo is a very good player with a very strong forehand; I’ve played him once before, three years ago and lost.”
Marcelo Aguirre has improved a great deal in those three years, in the Maracanăzinho Indoor Arena in Rio de Janeiro it showed, very evident.