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Czech Republic to fight for the Gold
Czechia and Ukraine delivered a real Volleyball spectacle in the first semi-final of the day, at the Final Four of the Men’s Golden #EuroLeagueM. The players around head coach Jiri Novak were two sets behind, but came back in the match, claiming the next three. Statistically, Ukraine were better on attack (63 to 58 winning spikes), while on the blocking, the sides delivered a rather equal performance - 10 to 11 for Ukraine. It was the better serving (nine to two aces) that played a pivotal role for the Czech’s win, as the Novak’s players recorded aces in the most important moments of the game.
22 points by top scorer, Ukraine’s Oleh Plotnytskyi weren’t enough to stop the inspired Czech team. For the winners, Patrik Indra finished with 19 points.
Throughout the whole first set, Ukraine would lead, but Czechia would breathe down their necks. Even though Oleh Plotnytskyi and his teammate stormed to a 4-0 right after the first referee whistle, finishing with no problems their attacks (seven spikes until the 11th point), Czechia were putting their best effort in defence. It paid off, as the Czech got closer twice - 14-15, and in the end of the set at 23-24. However, Ukraine showed nerves of steel, and also seized their chances on their opponents’ errors (the most important one, probably, the error by Galabov on the serving line for the set point).
It was a close call in the beginning of the second set (4-4), but the players around head coach Jiri Novak gave Ukraine a taste of their own medicine, delivering some monster blocks, taking the lead at 13-11. However, team leaders Yurii Semeniuk and Oleh Plotnytskyi stepped up, and turned the tables (19-17), but just for a moment, as Czechia did not give up. Even though they were close to tying the set score, Illia Kovalov put the end of “the discussion”.
Czechia refused to lose the match just yet, as starting better in the third set (6-2), showed nothing was over for them. Both sides began “a cat-and-mouse” fame (11-11, 13-13, 18-18, 20-20), but the better performance on the serving line (three aces) sealed the deal for the Czech team - Galabov made it up for his error in the first set, acing for 22-21, while Marek Sotola recorded a direct set point.
The Czech Republic entered even more motivated the fourth set (9-4), but Ukraine got back on their feet (10-9). However, thanks to great concentration, and resilience in the difficult moments, Czechia could maintain their leadership position, even if with only one point. Strong serves in the deciding moments, turned out to be the key to set-success.
Inspired, the Czech players completed the comeback, “knocking out” Ukraine in the tie-break (10-4), as the players of Ugis Krastins suffered in their attacks (12 to six for Czech in this set). An ace by captain Adam Zajicek gave Czechia the first match-point. Ukraine denied it, but it wasn’t enough.
The match in numbers
The combined total number of points scored by both teams throughout the entire match.
The total length of the match, from the first serve through until the last point has ended.
Total number of people in attendance at the venue – taken at the end of the second set.
The combined total number of successful spikes achieved by both teams throughout the entire match.
An average of the two team service reception percentages from the complete match.
The number of successful point winning blocks of CZECH REPUBLIC compared to UKRAINE.
CZECH REPUBLIC number of service aces compared to UKRAINE
Errors leading to points of CZECH REPUBLIC, next to those from UKRAINE