Portuguese titleholders Benfica Lisboa advanced to the 2nd Round of the 2020 CEV Volleyball Champions League!
They recorded another straight-set victory against Bosnian side Mladost Brčko in the 1st Round of the competiton and qualified for the next round in which they will face Montenegrin of OK Budva.
Yesterday was a historic day for Benfica: one more was a week ago they made their maiden appearance in the Champions League and now they hosted a match in the prestigious European club competition for the first time ever.
Brazilian Raphael Oliveira “Rapha“ was the top scorer for Benfica with 15 points, while Trinidadian and Tobagonian Marc-Anthony Honoré made 4 winning blocks. Montenegrin Jovan Delić scored 22 points for Mladost.
Marcel Matz, head coach of Benfica LISBOA: “I think that our team played well in the second set. The score was at 21-18, and to lose that lead was dangerous because we just needed to win that set to qualify to the next round, but we achieved the first goal – which was to clinch the win and of course the two sets that would hand us the qualification to the next stage. Therefore, I wish to congratulate my players. The team went through a tough cycle of four matches in six days, but all the players did very well both physically and mentally.”
Peter Wohlfahrtstätter, player of Benfica LISBOA: “I think we have a higher level than them but when they find their rhythm, they can become dangerous, therefore we could not play too relaxed. We had to stay focused and I believe that we did a good job. We knew how they would play, and we did our job to go to the next round.”
Branko Misic, head coach of Mladost BRČKO: “This game was very difficult for our team mentally. I think we played quite well in the first set. In the second set, I think we were the better team, but we had a huge pressure from a psychological standpoint, especially because we have many young players in the team. They do not cope well with this kind of game and situations.”
Almir Colo, player of Mladost BRČKO: “It was very difficult, but I think we played well, especially in the second set. I think Benfica are the favourites in the next round. We are cheering for them to reach the group stage of the Champions League.”
2020 CEV Volleyball Champions League – 1st Round (2nd leg)
Benfica Lisboa (POR) – Mladost Brčko (BIH) 3-0 (25:18, 30:28, 25:18)
1st leg 3-0
IBB Polonia London (ENG) – Mladost Zagreb (CRO)
1st leg 0-3
Source and photos: CEV