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Al-Rayyan upset world champions and will play for the crown against Belgorod

 
Outstanding result for Qatar's Al-Rayyan as they edged home team and defending champion Sada Cruzeiro
Belo Horizonte, Brazil, May 9, 2014 – Belogorie Belgorod from Russia and Al-Rayyan from Qatar will play this Saturday for the gold medal at FIVB Men’s Club World Championship in Belo Horizonte. The European champions won their semifinal against Argentina’s UPCN, while Al-Rayyan provided a tough hit to local team and defending champion Sada Cruzeiro.

The greatest upset of the tournament so far was the main highlight of Day 5 in Brazil. Sada Cruzeiro managed to earn the first set after trailing from the beginning, but then Al-Rayyan did some heavy damage from the service line and walked to a final 3-1 (21-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-18). 

Al-Rayyan nailed 9 direct serving points, with Robertlandy Simón scoring three and a total of 16 points, while Matey Kaziyski and Michael Sánchez Bozhulev aced twice and completed personal scores of 17 and 14 respectively. 

“We made many mistakes today, but we also converted many aces, turning that into a strong point and making the difference set after set”, underlined Kaziyski, placing there the key to the result. Coach Igor Arbutina added: “Not only we have a team with the best players in the world, we also played with less pressure today. For us, entering the semifinal was the main goal, and Sada Cruzeiro had a big pressure”. 

Al-Rayyan will now face Belogorie Belgorod for the world title. European champions had to climb back against a battling side of UPCN, which played an almost perfect opening set. However, Belgorod enjoyed a key entrance from Dmitriy Ilinykh and 18 points from Germany’s György Grozer to celebrate 3-1 (19-25, 25-14, 25-21, 25-20).

“I want to thank UPCN because this was a very good game, fairly played, and we are very satisfied with the match”, congratulated Belgorod coach Gennady Shipulin. Before taking a personal photo with UPCN’s Fabián Armoa, the Russian closed the press conference thinking about the gold medal match: “We have to do well and rest, because it will be our fifth game in a row. With that, let God decide.”

For the great closure of FIVB Men’s Club World Championship, this Saturday, UPCN and Sada Cruzeiro will play for the bronze medal at 16:30 (local). Finally, at 19:00, Belogorie Belgorod and Al-Rayyan will decide the new world champion.

2014 Men's Club World Championship Performances

Top Scoring Performances
26 - Tsvetan Sokolov of Trentino v UPCN (May 7)
26 - György Grozer of Belogorie Belgorod v Sada Cruzeiro (May 7)
24 - Theo Lopes of UPCN v Trentino (May 7)
23 - Bogdan Olteanu of UPCN v Trentino (May 7)
21 - Sebastián Solé of Trentino v Esperance Tunis (May 8)

Top Blocking Performances
11 - Sebastián Solé of Trentino v Esperance Tunis (May 8)
6 - Emanuele Birarelli of Trentino v UPCN (May 7)
6 - José Santos Junior of UPCN v Al-Rayyan (May 8)
5 - Ali Bairami of Al-Rayyan v Esperance Tunis (May 6)
5 - György Grozer of Belogorie Belgorod v Guaynabo Mets (May 6)

Top Blocking Performances by Team
18 - Belogorie Belgorod v Guaynabo Mets (May 6)
16 - Trentino v UPCN (May 7)
14 - Trentino v Esperance Tunis (May 8)
13 - UPCN v Trentino (May 7)
13 - Belogorie Belgorod v UPCN (May 9)

Top Serving Performances
5 - Robertlandy Simón of Al-Rayyan v UPCN (May 8)
4 - Kay Van Dijk of Trentino v Esperance Tunis (May 8)
4 - Dmitriy Muserskiy of Belogorie Belgorod v Matin Varamin (May 8)
4 - György Grozer of Belogorie Belgorod v UPCN (May 9)
3 - Chokri Jouini of Esperance Tunis v Al-Rayyan (May 6)

Top Serving Performances by Team
9 - Al-Rayyan v UPCN (May 8)
9 - Al-Rayyan v Sada Cruzeiro (May 9)
8 - Belogorie Belgorod v Sada Cruzeiro (May 7)
8 - Belogorie Belgorod v Matin Varamin (May 8)
8 - Belogorie Belgorod v UPCN (May 9)

Highest Scorers by day
20 - Robertlandy Simón Aties of Al-Rayyan v Trentino (day 1, May 5)
20 - Hichem Kaabi of Esperance Tunis v Al-Rayyan (day 2, May 6)
26 - Tsvetan Sokolov of Trentino v UPCN / György Grozer of Belgorod v Cruzeiro (day 3, May 7)
21 - Michael Sánchez of Al-Rayyan v UPCN / Sebastián Solé of Trentino v Esperance Tunis (day 4, May 8)
18 - György Grozer from Belogorie Belgorod v UPCN (day 5, May 9)

Highest Set Score
38-36 - Trentino v UPCN (3rd set, May 7)
33-31 - Belogorie Belgorod v Sada Cruzeiro (4th set, May 7)
28-26 - Al-Rayyan v Esperance Tunis (1st set, May 6)
27-25 - UPCN v Esperance Tunis (3rd set, May 5)
26-24 - Belogorie Belgorod v Matin Varamin (4th set, May 8)

Highest Scoring Matches
243 - Trentino def UPCN 3-2 (23-25, 25-23, 38-36, 22-25, 15-11) day 3, May 7
200 - UPCN def Al-Rayyan 3-2 (25-19, 25-20, 17-25, 18-25, 15-11) day 4, May 8
198 - Belogorie Belgorod def Sada Cruzeiro 3-1 (25-20, 25-18, 21-25, 33-31) day 3, May 7
183 - Belogorie Belgorod def Matin Varamin 3-1 (25-21, 22-25, 25-15, 26-24) day 4, May 8
178 - Al-Rayyan def Sada Cruzeiro 3-1 (21-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-18) day 5, May 9
 


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