Fakel NOVY URENGOY claim re-match with Shakhtior, are through to next round
2017 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup - Men
Novy Urengoy, Russia, December 20, 2016. The silver medallists from the 2016 edition, Russia’s Fakel NOVY URENGOY, made it on Tuesday to the 8th Finals of the 2017 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup – Men after claiming their home match with Shakhtior SOLIGORSK of Belarus by 3-1 (25-12, 24-26, 25-20, 25-16).
The temperatures had dropped to -40 °C in Novy Urengoy and yet the atmosphere was really hot on the Volleyball court with the visitors from Belarus looking determined to put on a fight whereas hosts Fakel were just as motivated to secure their progression to the next round of the competition.
Shakhtior tried to keep the score tight from the start of the match and with the help of Vitalii Bondar they edged ahead at 5-4. However, this did not last for long and by the score of 13-6 for Fakel, the Belarusian coach had to ask for his second time-out already. This set was really one-sided with Fakel cruising to a compelling 25-12 win. The score remained close through to 15-all in the second set and home coach Igor Chutchev stopped the game when Fakel trailed 16-18. The hosts started making mistake after mistake and the opponent used the opportunity to emerge victorious at 26-24. However, Fakel imposed their rule in sets 3 and 4, thus taking also the re-match of their tie with SOLIGORSK to progress to the next round of the Challenge Cup.
Viktar Beksha, head coach of Shakhtior, said: “Fakel have world-class players and the result reflects what we expected. We were not that effective with our offensive game, our blocking was not so good and we were not up to the task in defence, and all of these elements are equally important in Volleyball. The best we could do was to win one set, which we eventually did.”
Igor Chutchev, head coach of Fakel, said: “We made a way too many mistakes today, 24 only with our service, which means that we gave away almost one set only with this. After comfortably winning the first set, we kind of lost concentration and we were immediately punished for that. The roster of our team is not the ideal one, but we won and are happy with making it to the next round.”
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