by Simon Daish
Stella Sport La Romagne defied the odds in the group stage of the competition, finishing ahead of German side TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen to reach the last eight. Club president Mr. Guy Soulard is delighted to see his team continue to impress on the continental stage following their title victory in the 2016-2017 ETTU Cup.
“We did not expect to finish first in a pool where there was German club Ochsenhausen… We must remember that this is the first time we participate in the Champions League. For us, the quarter-finals is already very good, we are already satisfied with the result. It’s great to have arrived there in the wake of our last great season where we won the ETTU Cup.”
However, La Romagne’s hopes of qualifying for the penultimate round of the Champions League hit somewhat of a road block on Thursday 25th January following a 3-1 defeat against Sporting Clube de Portugal in the 1st leg of the quarter-finals.
While the path to the semi-finals has been made that little bit harder, the task is not yet impossible to achieve and Mr. Guy Soulard believes that his players can mount a recovery in the 2nd leg.
“There is a bit of a sense of regret, because we are losing 3-1… It would have been better to lose 3-2 than to lose 3-1… the challenge will be raised in the 2nd leg, but it’s still playable. We are not eliminated… they are players of our level that we can beat at home. We may have a 70% chance of not progressing, but the competition continues, we have seen other reversals in the past.” Guy Soulard
One added advantage that the French club has heading into the 2nd leg against Sporting is the backing of the home crowd and, regardless of the final outcome, the 2nd leg set to take place on the evening of Friday 9th February promises to deliver an exciting showdown for a spot in the semi-finals.
“We have the advantage in La Romagne to have a room often full, whether it is in the league or in the Champions League… we will have supporters.” Guy Soulard