The substituted Bojan Tokic secures the victory for 1. FC Saarbrücken TT in the first leg of the quarter-final in the Table Tennis Champion League Men (TTCLM) against TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen. For the second leg on February 9, the Saarlanders' chances are slighlty higher now.

Jakub Dyjas

Was on the edge of a win: Jakub Dyjas (Photo: BeLa Sportfoto)

Only after almost three and a half hours of world class table tennis, there was a winner of the first leg of the Table Tennis Champions League Men (TTCLM) quarter-final. And it was 1. FC Saarbrücken TT, who stood victorious after a thrilling fight. "I am glad the match went down as did," said FCS coach Slobodan Grujic, knowing that it could have easily been the other way this evening.

But only if Ochsenhausen's Jakub Dyjas would have used his matchpoint leading 10-9 in the fourth game against Bojan Tokic. But Tokic saved this one, won the game and eventually the match. "My appearance was not planned at first," Tokic said. "That is why I was suprised. But steady nerves and bit of luck helped me today." His coach Grujic agreed. "Bojan stayed calm and kept his mind," Grujic praised after the narrow 3-2 win of his team on late Friday evening.

Patrick Franziska

Scored the 2-1 lead: Patrick Baum (Photo: BeLa Sportfoto)

Before that, Grujic and over 400 spectators in the Dr.-Hans-Liebherr-Hall had seen an excitung match – and Hugo Calderano being on fire. The Portuguese first beat Tiago Apolonia in straight games and did the same to Patrick Franziska later. "Calderano has played unbelievable today, " Grujic had to admit. You could see that he gained a lot of confidence at the Hungarian Open."

After Franziska had scored the 1-1 equalizer, it was Patrick Baum who took revenge for the defeat of January 6, when he lost to defender Yuto Muramatsu. This time the German prevailed. "The way we lost today is very disappointing," concluded TTF sports manager Daniel Zwickl. "In the deciding moment we just have to be cooler and more clever." On February 9, Ochsenhasuen still has all chances to enter the semi-final, as they are leading in the games with 10-9. "Nothing has been decided to today," Grujic said. "I am expecting a home match just as difficult as this one."

Match overview

TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen – 1. FC Saarbrücken TT 2-3
Hugo Calderano – Tiago Apolonia 3-0 (11-6, 11-8, 11-5)
Joao Geraldo – Patrick Franziska 0-3 (5-11, 9-11, 1-11)
Yuto Muramatsu – Patrick Baum 2-3 (11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 11-8, 8-11)
Hugo Calderano – Patrick Franziska 3-0 (11-8, 11-9, 11-9)
Jakub Dyjas – Bojan Tokic 2-3 (11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 10-12, 6-11)

Header photo: BeLa Sportfoto