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17/06/2017 22:16
Ukraine book ticket to #EuroLeagueM Finals
2017 CEV Volleyball European League - Men

Luxembourg, June 17, 2017. Next to hosts Denmark, Ukraine will compete in the Final Four of this year’s CEV Volleyball European League – Men scheduled for July 1-2 in Gentofte after the Eastern Europeans claimed on Saturday the ‘big match’ with the Danes (3-1) in Pool B. The 2015 and 2016 silver medallists from the competition, i.e. the Former Y.R. of Macedonia, keep a clean sheet in Pool A following their second straight victory on home soil, this time over Albania. Earlier in the afternoon in Skopje, rookies Sweden celebrated their first victory in the European League after coming back from two sets down in their dramatic matchup with Azerbaijan.

Pool A in Skopje (MKD)  

Sweden vs. Azerbaijan

Rookies Sweden celebrated their first historic victory in the European League and they did so by claiming a marathon match with Azerbaijan, where they came back from two sets down to eventually seal a 3-2 victory (19-25, 23-25, 26-24, 25-9, 15-12). Azerbaijan caught a very good start to the match with Dmitriy Obodnikov, Parviz Samadov, Rasul Ibragimov and Vugar Bayramov contributing to a comfortable 25-19 win. Sweden put up a fight in the second set but Azerbaijan came out on top at 25-23. Fredrik Gustavsson changed the course of the game in the third set before he ended up recording as many as 42 points in the match. Sweden claimed a 26-24 win to stay alive in the game and after that, they dominated the fourth set (25-9) before keeping the right focus to make up for an early 8-11 deficit in the tiebreak and emerge victorious at 15-12.

Albania vs. Former Y.R. of Macedonia

The hosts from the Former Y.R. of Macedonia celebrated their second victory on home soil as they beat their neighbours from Albania 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-22), with superstar Nikola Gjorgiev top scoring once again with a personal tally of 23 points. Aleksandar Ljaftov, as well as middle blockers Risto Klopcheski and Filip Madjunkov also contributed to the Macedonian success. Albania’s star players did not perform at their best level, with Gazmend Husaj and opposite Enea Xhelati scoring 14 and 7 points, respectively. The second set was one-sided before Albania stepped up their efforts in the third, but it was not enough to prevent them from suffering a straight-set loss. On Sunday, the hosts will play Sweden and Albania take on Azerbaijan to complete the programme of the weekend before a second round robin takes place next week in Albania.

Pool B in Nyíregyháza (HUN)

Israel vs. Hungary

Hungary caught a promising start to their match with Israel, claiming an early lead (8-6), which they extended to six points by the end of the opening set (25-19). The second set was a close affair with the score remaining levelled up to 18-all before Israel accelerated their pace towards the end to emerge victorious at 25-20. Hungary responded by dominating the third set from start to end, this resulting in a massive 25-13 win and even though they trailed in the early stages of the fourth set, Hungary stormed back to record a 25-22 win and seal their 3-1 victory.
“It was a much better game than yesterday but we could not find the right solutions in attack. I hope we will be able to improve for the next match,” said Israel coach Grzegorz Rys.
“I am satisfied because we were able to win a very difficult match. We played at a high level and did so especially at some stages of the match,” commented Hungary coach Juan Manuel Barrial.

Ukraine vs. Denmark

Ukraine claimed the ‘big match’ with Denmark after four close sets. The first set was a tense affair up to 19-all before Ukraine edged ahead at 22-20 but Denmark flipped the charts around to stamp a 25-23 win thanks to the serves of Simon Gade. Ukraine clearly dominated set two and three (25-19 and 25-21) before the fourth set reflected the close fight the fans had already witnessed in the opening one. The score remained tight from start to end before Ukraine sealed their 3-1 victory at 25-22. Maksym Drozd top scored for Ukraine with 21 points – with Peter Trolle Bonnesen recording 22 for Denmark in their losing effort.
“It was a very close match like the one we played yesterday with Hungary,” said Denmark coach Mikael Trolle. “The main problem was that we could not put enough pressure with our service and Ukraine were better than us today.”
“I am quite satisfied with the match especially because we secured our qualification to the Final Four but we still have many things to improve on until then,” said Ukraine coach Ugis Krastins.

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the matches

News nr. 8 of 17
18/06/2017 22:18:00
Reigning #EuroLeagueM silver medallists make it three wins in a row in Skopje
16/06/2017 23:05:00
Denmark, Ukraine improve European League record as 2016 silver medallists please home crowd

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