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30/10/2019 22:45
Amazing crowd for a historic match in London
CEV Champions League Volley 2020

Luxembourg, October 30, 2019. The iconic Copper Box Arena in London was the host of the Match of the Week in the Men's Champions League as IBB Polonia LONDON was hoping for an already historic night to become a fairy tale, with the help of an extremely enthusiastic home crowd. However, Mladost ZAGREB was determined to capitalise on the home win from the previous encounter and managed to make the most of their experience and strength to overpower the hosts in straight sets and claim their spot in the next round of the Champions League where they will be playing SK Zadruga AICH/DOB of Austria.

IBB Polonia LONDON (ENG) vs Mladost ZAGREB (CRO) 0-3 (9-25, 12-25, 22-25)

  • The Croatian powerhouse, Mladost ZAGREB started the game strongly, overpowering IBB Polonia in all aspects of the game. It did not take too long for the set to slip away from the hosts, as Mladost was creating an everly increasing gap on the scoreboard. It was only towards the end of the set that IBB Polonia, with the help of Mihail Stoev, managed to score points that got the already enthusiastic home crowd on their feet.
  • The second set started off very differently as the teams went head to head up until 7-7. However, Mladost kept their cool and slowly but surely played their way into convincingly winning the set and with it, obtaining qualification to the next round. The third set turned out to be the most entertaining part of the entire match, with IBB Polonia displaying brilliant moments of Volleyball that lead to a record 22 points won in a single set in a Champions League encounter.
  • Approximately 1,000 passionate fans were present at the Copper Box Arena in London for this historic first match of a British team in the Champions League, creating an amazing atmosphere throughout the game. 

Gilberto Godoy Filho, player of IBB Polonia LONDON: “The team from Croatia played unbelievable volleyball, but we will keep going. We need to train more, find more sponsors and keep promoting this beautiful sport. It is super important that IBB Polonia LONDON are doing this. The atmosphere was just like in Brazil; they party hard and don’t stop until the end.” 

Evangelos Koutouleas, head coach of IBB Polonia LONDON: “We have to realise that we are at the transition from amateurs to professionals. We played against a super professional team and we can see the result. During training today, only half of the team were available, as they were working. I am very happy for the great third set that we played. It was not that the other team gave us points. Believe me this was amazing: listen to my voice!”

Ivan Raic, captain of Mladost ZAGREB: “We came here for a victory and this is what we achieved. We will play the champions of Austria next. In London we played an excellent match and in two sets we performed solidly. In the third set we lost concentration, but despite this, we won. The atmosphere was amazing; I hope we will come back to play IBB Polonia LONDON again some time and hope that they will continue to improve. Let’s see each other again in the Champions League.” 

Radovan Malevic, head coach of Mladost ZAGREB: “The match in Zagreb was hard, because this was the first time that we saw this English team. After the first match, we did our scouting and had a solid match plan organised ahead of today. The first two sets were good for us, because technically we are a better team. The third set gave us some technical problems and I had to make some changes; but finally we won the match 3-0 and we enjoyed the atmosphere in the hall. The organisation was very very good from the home team. I want everything good for this club. I think England must have a good team in the Champions League because England is a big country. I think they have the possibility to do so.”

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