(by Steve Hopkins)
Borussia Dusseldorf maneuvered through the first half of the season undefeated. Their talented squad of Timo Boll, Anton Kallberg, Kristian Karlsson, and Dang Qiu had beaten most of the other German League teams 3-0 or 3-1.
At this halfway point, the top four teams in the German League compete in the German Cup. Those four teams were Dusseldorf, RhonSprudel (with Quadri Aruna, Ruwen Filus, and Fanbo Meng), Muhlhausen (with Steffen Mengel, Ovidiu Ionescu, and Daniel Habesohn),and Saarbrucken (with Patrick Franziska, Darko Jorgic, and Tomas Polansky).
Timo Boll has not been 100% – fighting both an illness and a muscle injury – so the Dusseldorf team for this event included Dang Qiu in place of Boll. In the Semifinal, Dusseldorf topped RhonSprudel 3-0 while Saarbrucken had a tough 3-2 win over Muhlhausen. That set up a Final between undefeated 11-0 Dusseldorf, versus 8-3 Saarbrucken.
The opening match went to Saarbrucken when Darko Jorgic took the second, third, and fifth game over Anton Kallberg for a 3-2 win. Saarbrucken’s top player, Patrick Franziska then defeated Kristian Karlsson 3-1 giving Saarbrucken a commanding 2-0 lead. Dang Qiu got Dusseldorf on the board with a 3-0 win over Tomas Polansky, but Franziska topped Kallberg 3-1 to seal the victory for Saarbrucken.
There’s still half a season left in Germany, and Dusseldorf will remain one of the favorites. But Saarbrucken has shown that Dusseldorf is not unbeatable.
Borussia Düsseldorf – 1.FC Saarbrücken 1: 3
Anton Källberg – Darko Jorgic 2: 3 (11: 9, 7:11, 9:11, 11: 8, 6:11)
Kristian Karlsson – Patrick Franziska 1: 3 (13:11, 14:16, 5:11, 5:11)
Dang Qiu – Tomas Polansky 3: 0 (11: 4, 11: 9, 11: 4)
Källberg – Franziska 1: 3 (11: 9, 9:11, 9:11, 7:11)
Visit ButterflyOnline.com for the latest table tennis news and results.