Lada reach the semi-finalsArticle
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In fornt of 2.600 spectators in Togliatti, Lada defeated Nürnberg by 28:27. The team of Alexey Gumyanov will play against Hypo in the semi-finals.

Lada reach the semi-finals

Many believed that Lada Togliatti would have an easy job against the German team. Just the opposite, Nürnberg put great pressure on the home team and the fourth semi-finalist was decided in the very last seconds.

Sidorova (in the goal) saved Lada once again

Herbert Müller only brought only 11 players with him to the game. Nevertheless, Lada had two problems from the beginning: they underestimated their opponents and their key players were tired. Despite the big fighting spirit of the German team, Lada managed to take a three-goal lead (8:5). The Germans did not surrender and they soon took the lead at 10:9. Just before the end of the first half, Lada took back the three goals – 15:12.

In the second half the same story went on. Nürnberg equalised on 15:15. During the entire second half the teams had their moments, but none of them could take a significant lead. Just two minutes before the end of the match the result was 27:27. Lada scored to make it 28:27 and the drama came in the last seconds of the match.

With 25 seconds to go Gumyanov takes a time-out knowing that this would be their last chance to reach the semi-finals. But the Russians lose the ball and Rösler goes on fast break. She shoots, Sidorova saves and Lada Togliatti qualify.

Mochalina and Sidorova - key players

The best player of Lada Togliatti was Mochalina with 8 goals. She took the responsibility in the crucial moments of the match and together with Sidorova she pushed Lada towards the semis. Postonova scored 7 for Lada. For the Germans Rösler and Simakova scored 6 each.

“We wanted to say goodbye to the CL with a victory, we fought hard, but we didn't win. I have to emphasise the importance of the goalkeeper Sidorova who saved Lada for the third time this season. First she did it in last year’s CL semi-finals against Hypo, then in Győr this season and now, when she saved our fast break,” said Herbert Müller.

“We clearly underestimated our opponents. The eight goals in the first match deceived us and we had great problems when we saw that Nürnberg did not come here to lose. Our big problem today was also efficiency,” commented Alexey Gumyanov.

TEXT: Ivan Ambros