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18/02/2016 09:35
Benfica LISBOA use home advantage to set sights on Challenge Cup semis
2016 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Men

Lisbon, Portugal, February 17, 2016. Last year’s silver medallists Benfica LISBOA of Portugal continue to do well also in the 2016 edition of the CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup – Men and following their 3-1 home win (18-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-19) on Wednesday night over Greece’s Ethnikos ALEXANDROUPOLIS, the ‘Eagles’ are only two sets away from qualifying for the semi-finals.

Actually the team of Ethnikos caught the better start and claimed an early lead in the opening set (8-4, 10-6) to hold on to it and bring it home at 25-18 in their favour. The Greek players served extremely aggressive but also the majority of the battles at the net were won by the visiting team.

As they had to come from behind, Benfica LISBOA stepped up their efforts in the second set. After a close start, the ‘Eagles’ edged ahead at the first technical time-out (8-7) and widened their lead at the second (16-12) before wrapping it up at 25-19, with a solid performance being delivered especially by their opposite and outside spikers.

This set win provided the home team with an extra boost of confidence and Benfica came out strong also in the third set where they rushed to an 8-6 lead at the first technical time-out. The Portuguese national champions seemed to have adjusted to Ethnikos’s way of playing and they dominated in all aspects of the game. They stood out both in offence and defence and after leading 16-11 at the second technical break, everything went just smoothly for the home team on the way to their 25-18 win.

The fourth set was by far the most exciting and entertaining of the whole match with a series of great rallies, especially in the early stages, and both teams playing with loads of energy and high intensity. Benfica in the end had the upper hand at 25-19 after previously leading the way at both technical time-outs (8-7, 16-13).

The return match is now due to take place on March 2 in Alexandroupolis, Greece and will determine one of four semi-finalists in the competition.

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the match

News nr. 16 of 47
18/02/2016 20:44:00
Fakel NOVY URENGOY secure first Challenge Cup semi-final spot
17/02/2016 23:17:00
Injury-plagued VERONA claim hard-fought tie-break win in Challenge Cup quarter-finals

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