The Portuguese volleyball team beat Croatia 3-0 in Zagreb today for Group D of the qualifying campaign for the 2019 UEFA European Championship in a game where the service was the Portuguese weapon.
Portugal won by 25-18, 25-22 and 25-18, and scored their second triumph in two 3-0 games in Zagreb, having defeated Albania 3-0, allowing them to lead the group D, with six points, and still integrates Austria.
With an impeccable performance in terms of the various actions of the game, highlighting the strong service, which was worth a hand full of aces (direct points), Portugal dominated the match since the beginning of the first set in which it has achieved a four points (6-2).
Well in attack, block, distribution, reception and defense, the Portuguese team avoided the Croatian reaction, which shortened the gap to 7-6 and reopened the gap to four points with two direct services of Marco Ferreira (10-6).
With the progress of the half, Portugal extended the advantage successively to five (12-7), six (15-9), seven (18-11) and eight points (22-14), which allowed him to manage the game and close the semi-final at 25-18 on his third attempt.
Galvanized by the display, the Portuguese team kept the same attitude in the second set, again reaching the 6-2 lead but, with some errors, allowed Croatia to approach the marker for the minimum difference.
The Croatian team cut the chances that it had to draw and then took Portugal to play, with good variation of the game of the dealer Miguel Tavares and the attitude of the libero João Fidalgo, to return to ‘escape’ in the numbers of the partial.
With the batters Alexandre Ferreira, Marco Ferreira and Lourenço Martins making the difference in the service and the attack, seconded by Filip Cveticanin and Phelipe Martins in the net, Portugal opened for a difference of six points at 23-17.
Concentration flaws in the final set in Ante Giljanovic’s service allowed the Croats to reduce to just one point difference, with a partial of five at 23-22, and cast doubt on the winner of the partial.
Selector Hugo Silva called for a game stop to calm the team, and in the restart, after Alex Ferreira made it 24-22, the second Luso distributor, José Pedro Monteiro, closed the quarter-final at 25-22 with a direct service.
Portugal maintained the same stance, attitude and level of display in the third and final part, which they returned to lead almost from the start, reaching a four-point lead (10-06), which opened to eight (20-12).
Keeping the Croatian side ‘away’, with a partial of five consecutive points in the service of Alexandre Ferreira (20-12), Portugal ended the match 3-0 with a 25-18 win and allows them to face optimism qualification for the European Championship2019.
Play in the Dvorana Sutinska Vrela arena in Zagreb.
Croatia – Portugal, 0-3.
Partial: 18-25 (23 minutes), 22 and -25 (29) and 18-25 (25).
Under the arbitration of the pair Alexandros Mylokis (Greece) and Stanislava Simic (Slovakia) the teams aligned with:
– Croatia; Danijel Galic, Sandro Dukic, Leo Andric, Filip Sestan, Ivan Mihalj and Tsimafei Zhukouski. They also played Hrvoje Pervan (libero), Ante Giljanovic and Fran Peterlin.
Coach: Ivan Rancic.
– Portugal: Filip Cveticanin, Miguel Tavares Rodrigues, Alexandre Ferreira, Phelipe Martins, Marco Ferreira and Lourenço Martins. They also played João Fidalgo (libero), José Pedro Monteiro and Valdir Sequeira.
Coach: Hugo Silva.
Assistance: about 500 spectators.