Sunday, 13 June 2021
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 Match info | Press Conference
“I replaced the experienced players to apply my strategy,” says Zamalek coach

Zamalek captain Ashraf Aboulhassan speaking during the press conference

Zamalek Cairo (EGY) coach, Ahmed El Sayed
"Our team is quite young and lacks international experience. That created pressure and was reflected in our performance. Corozal is a strong side and they played very well in this tense match.

"After the close defeat in the first set, we came back in the second set. Our players were calm and composed, just waiting for Corozal to make mistakes. In the third set, Corozal’s No. 8 (Matthew Thomas McKinney) scored many points to take the set away from us. We made quick changes in our strategy, and when Corozal applied three blockers we changed our 5th and 6th positions, which helped us to win the fourth set.

"Mohamed Gabal was replaced by Reda Haikal in the third set and tie-break set. Also, Ahmed Afifi was exhausted so we had to replace him to field our best side for the crucial set. As all our matches are programmed for 11h00, we have been training early in the morning, which we are not used to. However, we are trying to adjust, and our players are coping up well.

"The Wednesday match against Zenit Kazan will be tough; they are a strong side in Europe and have some class players. They play later today, so we have an advantage in that we have time to rest.

"Our strategies against Zenit Kazan will be worked on accordingly; we will watch their match today and plan consequently. We hope to do our best and of course we stand a chance against them.

Captain, Ashraf Abouelhassan
"After yesterday’s match we were a bit tense, and this contributed to our loss of the first set. The technical staff helped us regain our strength enabling us to come back and win the second set comfortably. We are in a tough group, but we are taking it match by match.

Today was a lucky day for us and we hope to do well in the third match tomorrow. Mistakes like losing the serve at a critical period of the match, here in the tie-break with the scores level, can easily happen when you are under too much stress.

Plataneros de Corozal (PUR) coach, David Aleman
"I would like to congratulate our opponents for their deserved win today. In the first two sets we lost a lot of serves. I don’t think we have had enough time to prepare for this tournament. The level is high and adapting to a new rule always difficult. Egypt’s No. 13 (Mohamed Badawy) almost killed us with his powerful and accurate spiking.
Also, their setter played really well to carry the team to victory.

"So far I think the Golden Formula has not served its purpose. As there is no first line, the role of the middle blockers is completely diminished with this rule, as is that of the libero. It is much easier for the setter, but it takes away the creativity of the game. Three matches here won’t make much of a difference when we go back home and play with the normal rules, where we will come back with a strong game and play our best volleyball."

Captain, Fernando Morales
"The Egyptians did well. They dominated the match in block, defence and service. We were too relaxed and they took advantage of that. I questioned the call of  the referee at the crucial stage of the match as, in my opinion, there was no fault. However, it didn’t affect the result of the match. They played really well and won.

"Tomorrow we want to play our best match; a lot will depend on other the results, as we have lost both our matches so far. Trentino are a tough side and we hope to give them a serious fight."



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