As prediction, the Russian powerhouse Zenit Kazan had a 2-0 lead in the first game of the Champions League semifinals!
However, the Polish team Zaksa Kedzierzyn Kozle managed to make an incredible comeback and to win the game at the tie-break. Even though nothing has been solved with this match since there is the second leg game in Poland, this is a huge boost for Zaksa that will now have a small advantage.
Zenit had control in the first two sets, taking a 2-0 lead but then the huge rise of the rival from Poland, who managed to force the tie-break.
The Russian side had a better opening, creating a big lead (6:2), however, Zaksa again made a comeback by taking over the lead 7:6. After a few turnarounds, Zaksa got the first match point 14:11, but Zenit managed to save three match points and to tie the game 14:14.
After all, two points in a row pushed Zaksa to the big victory in this game.
The top scorer of the game was Kamil Semeniuk 27 points, while Lukasz Kaczmarek also contributed with 22 and Aleksander Sliwka with 17 points. In Zenit, Max Mikhailov had 23 points, Earvin Ngapeth 17 and Bartosz Bednorz 16.
In all-Italian clash, Itas Trentino have smashed Sir Safety Perugia.
With much better energy during the whole game, Trentino controlled the whole situation on the court, leaving no space for the rival to stay in the game or to extend the match.
Thus Trentino have earned a big victory, making a huge step toward the finals. It will be difficult for Perugia to make a comeback and to knock out the rival…
Nimir Abdel-Aziz was named MVP of the match and was also the top scorer of the match with 16 points, including 2 blocks and 3 aces, while Marko Podrascanin also contributed, scoring 11 times with 83% efficiency in attack, 4 blocks and two aces. Ter Horst scored 12 points with 60% in attack, one block and two aces for Perugia.
Nimir Abdel-Aziz, opposite of Trentino Itas: “We didn’t play a perfect match, but we certainly showed a lot of determination from the start. All this has made a difference, but we are not taking it for granted; the road ahead to reach the Champions League final is still very long and difficult.”
Vital Heynen, coach of Sir Sicoma Monini Perugia: “We have to be honest and say that Trento played better. Clearly better in the second set, in the other two they made fewer mistakes. In the first and third set we had some chances that we didn’t exploit”.
| CEV Champions League Semifinals | first leg
| March 18, 2021
• Zenit Kazan – Zaksa Kedzierzyn Kozle 2-3 (25:22, 25:22, 27:29, 22:25, 14:16)
• Trentino – Perugia 3-0 (25:21, 25:16, 25:23)
Source and Photos: CEV