|27.04.2007, 10:02||◄ last page|
While CL arrived to the final, the Spanish quarterfinalists will face each other again for the Asobal title. Ciudad Real vs Portland on Saturday!
Spain : Revenge for CL Defeat?
The goal of Ciudad Real will be to take revenge for the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Portland are leading the Asobal with one point over Dujshebajev’s team. The upcoming derby may easily decide the championship. There are five more games to go from the championship and Ciudad Real have an easier task for the rest of the season. However, if Portland win the all-important match, they will be very close to the title as well.
Portland will still visit Barcelona and Leon, but with a victory on Saturday, they can even lose one of these matches.
A draw would keep the distance between the two, but Portland would depend on their own performance.
Four years, two home defeats for Ciudad Real
Quijote Arena is a very difficult away court. Ciudad Real lost only two matches in the last four seasons at home. Barcelona and Celje were the only teams to win there. Talant Dujshebajev can count on a complete squad with the exception of Julio Fis. The Cuban-Spanish player has been injured for a couple of months.
As Portland won in the Champions League, Ciudad Real are really motivated and the atmosphere of the arena will be electric.
However, Portland have good record against Ciudad Real. Equisoain’s team won two titles in this city, but not in the Quijote Arena. Portland won the match that allowed them to win their first Spanish League title and the final of the Spanish Cup in 2000/01 in the Puerta de Santa María sports hall. Ciudad Real used to play there before Quijote Arena.
Norwegian Kristian Kjelling will not play in Ciudad Real for the same injury that prevented him from being in top form against Kiel in the CL semi-finals. The Norwegian international tried to recover for this important match, but time was not enough.
However, Carlos Ruesga, the young Spanish center back will help his mates to get the victory. Ruesga suffered a muscle injury, but he took a rest in the last matches and he will be ready for Saturday.
Equisoain will try to take adventage of the impressive form of Ivano Balic. The Croatian player played very well in the played very well in the last two matches against Arrate and Logroño.
TEXT: Fernando Urra Goñi