10 Dec 2018

The group stage of the 2018-2019 Men’s Champions League has drawn to a dramatic close with clubs securing historic victories in the race for the quarter-finals and an unexpected opening round exit for FC Saarbrücken.

by Simon Daish

For the second time in Group C the German Giants suffered defeat at the hands of K.S. Dartom Bogoria Grodzisk Mazowiecki: falling behind early in the match but the Polish outfit drew level through Panagiotis Gionis, who beat Darko Jorgic in four games (11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 14-12) before victories for Pavel Sirucek and Kaii Yoshida against Tomas Polansky (11-5, 11-3, 11-8) and Darko Jorgic respectively (9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 13-11) sent the visitors through to the next round as 3-2 victors.

Progressing as Group C winners is Angers Vaillante with the French club earning a 3-1 win away to Roskilde Bordtennis BTK61. Victories for Jon Persson and João Geraldo proved the difference for Angers Vaillante, who emerged as France’s sole group winners while their Danish hosts finished at the foot of the table with just a single win.

Winless after the opening three fixtures but SPG Walter Wels has incredibly found its way into the next stage of the Champions League following a narrow 3-2 victory over Stella Sport La Romagne, claiming its third consecutive Group B win in the process. Park Ganghyeon achieved his third brace in a row, accounting for Daniel Gorak (11-7, 11-8, 11-9) and Chen Tianyuan (11-8, 11-9, 11-7) but it was Deni Kozul who finished the job with a convincing performance against Daniel Gorak in the decider (11-7, 11-4, 11-8) to reach the last eight for the first time.

Topping Group B is TTSC UMMC after the Russian side posted its fifth 3-0 success of the campaign with a commanding display against Polish visitors K.S. Dekorglass Dzialdowo. The standout result of the match came courtesy of Alexander Shibaev, who recovered from two games down to defeat Wong Chun Ting in a five game thriller (2-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-5).

Post SV Mühlhausen also reserved its spot in the quarter-finals for the first time, coming through a tight 3-2 match against 2015-2016 silver medallists Eslovs Ai Bordtennis: Lubomir Jancarik struck twice for the visitors with strong outings against Truls Moregard (11-13, 11-1, 11-5, 11-8) and Fuzhou Zhang (11-7, 7-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-3). Daniel Habesohn also chipped in, beating Fuzhou Zhang in straight games (11-9, 11-7, 13-11). The other Group D fixture between TTC Fakel Gazprom Orenburg and G.V. Hennebont ended 3-1 with the Russian club progressing as group winners.

Reigning champions Borussia Düsseldorf has taken top spot in Group A after two wins from Timo Boll helped the German side to a 3-1 victory over group runner-up AS Pontoise-Cergy while Sporting Clube de Portugal registered the same score in its encounter with TTC Ostrava 2016.

More Information

2018-2019 ETTU Champions League Patrick Franziska Park Ganghyeon Jon Persson