Thriller in Russia expectedArticle
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Both sides believe in tight game between Chekhovskie Medvedi and Ademar Leon.

Thriller in Russia expected

With a 37:36 away win over Ademar Leon, the Russians of Chekhovskie Medvedi have a great chance of qualifying to the Champions League Quarterfinals.

Nine long years the "Bears" have been waiting for an away victory against a Spanish Asobal league team. After a draw against Valladolid in the Group Phase of this year’s CL, this historic moment was reached and celebrated on Sunday.

Vladimir Maximov, the Russian coach, analyzed the game: "It was a very difficult and tough match that remained exciting until the very last second. At the end we had the fortune of scoring and secured the closest of victories. Obviously, the winner will be decided over two games, so this duel is not over yet. But with the number of goals we scored away, Ademar now needs to win by two goals."

It was a very even match, with the local team having an advantage of up to 4 goals in the first half. This was thanks to the successful game plan of their starting line-up, with Buntic, and especially Bicanic, who scored 6 goals during that period.

In the second half, the Russian team controlled the attacks of its opponent much better and the Spaniards lost their top scorer, Bicanic, due to an injury. The team of Maximov turned the game, took the lead, and won with some great goals from its backs, Shelmenko and Rastvortsev.

Bears goalkeeper Oleg Grams showed great satisfaction with the victory of his team: "We were very well prepared for this game, both physically and mentally, and the result of this was visible on the scoreboard at the final whistle. For the first time in Chekhov's club history, we clinched an away win in the Champions League against a Spanish team!"

On the other side, the Spanish team coach Jordi Ribera was not happy: "For us, this game was very difficult. We could have won, even with a one goal difference, but we let ourselves down in the last minute of the clash. Ademar played poorly at the moments when we had a player numerical advantage. Bicanic looked great in the first half, but we had to replace him in the second half due to injury, and this meant that I had to change our game plan. We then showed ourselves nervous in the second half, and had many holes in defence which lead to the Russian victory."

Ribera now hopes to take revenge in Chekhov and will analyse and try to solve the problems in Ademar’s game plan.

Both teams and their coaches think the second leg will also be a very tight affair, so it looks like another thriller is coming up in Chekhov on 1st April at 17:00hrs (GMT + 2).

Watch the action live on!

TEXT: Márk Hegedüs