The final match of the Fivb Challenge Cup in Matosinhos started well for the Czech Republic, and the first set was an one-way set, with Portugal that play only the first part of the set. In a short time Czech Republic took a good advantage, and Portugal decided to change something, sending in the field Valdir Sequeira instead of Alex Ferreira, on 16-19, but due to the mistakes made by the home side and some great spikes of Jan Hadrava (who played a great set), Czech Republic mainteined (and extended) the advantage. 16-21 with an Hadrava’s block. The attack of Laurenço Martins is out, and it’s the first set ball for the Czech Republic, set immediately closes by Dzavoronok (not particularly brilliant in this set) with an ace. 18-25 it’s the final result.
In the second set, Alex Ferreira again on the field for Portugal, and the hosts took two points of advantages since the start of the set. One attack of Alex Ferreira it’s the point of 4-2, and Portugal claimed the lead since the early stages of the second set as well. A block of Sobotka on a Laurenço Martins’s attack sign the 4-3, but soon after Portugal broke away to 7-4 with an ace of Marco Ferreira, and with two points consecutive by Laurenço Martins the score fly to 9-4. On 12-7 Michal Nekola, coach of Czech Republic, called a timeout and his team reduced the difference to one point only at 17-16 with a great attack sigled by Hadrava, but shortly after Portugal regained the advantage and Alex Ferreira closed the set. Portugal won 25-22.
Third set, and Czech Republic claimed the lead until 1-4. Is still Alex Ferreira that, with a spike from the second line, sign the point of 5-5. Substitution for Czech Republic: in Šulista, out Dzavoronok, but the match is the same, and Portugal fly to 11-8 with a Marco Ferreira’s attack. It’s out also the attack of Michalek, and Portugal moved the score to 15-11. Another substitution for Czech, in Marek Beer, out Adam Zajiček, and the point of 17-13 is sigled by Laurenço Martins. Marek Beer tried with his team to enter again into the match with the point of 18-15, and when Marco Ferreira block Šulista, Dzavoronok in the field again. Laurenço Martins closed the set, and Portugal win 25-19.
In the beginning of the fourth set Portugal start very well, and fly 4-1 with a great block of Alex Ferreira and Phelipe Martins. Double substitution for Czech Republic, out Jan Hadrava and Jakub Janouch, in Pavel Bartoš and Michal Finger, but Marco Ferreira sign the 12-8, and on 15-10 timeout for Czech Republic. Was not enough for the Czechs to come back the spike of Marek Beer that signed the 15-13, with the Portugal’s block on Dzavoronok the advantage is heavy, 17-13. Portugal moved the score again with an ace of Filip Cveticanin, and on 22:15 Hadrava and Janouch in the field again. Was decisive the block of Phelipe Martins on Hadrava, that signed the first match ball for Portugal, which win the match with an ace, 25-16.
For the Czech republic, this is the first defeat in this competition. In previous days, Nekola’s team had won against Cuba and Chile, both matches 3-0, and had also won the semifinal against Estonia, 3-1, played yesterday always here in Matosinhos.
We have no original photos of this matches, but you can see the match in this video.