Budva, Montenegro, July 6, 2014. Greece secured the last available spot in the semifinals of the 2014 CEV Volleyball European League - Men after finishing second in Pool A. The Greeks needed to win in their last match of the pool at Montenegro and so they did, by 3:1 (19-25, 25-19, 26-24, 25-23).
The home side finished in the first place with 17 points, two clear of the Greeks, who surpassed both Poland and Romania, to set up Montenegro vs. FYR of Macedonia and Slovenia vs. Greece as the semifinal match-ups of this year’s edition of the competition. The first leg of the semifinals is to take place next weekend, July 12 and 13, with the return matches scheduled for July 16.
The first set was very competitive through 13-13, after which the Montenegrins scored 6 consecutive points to break away and stay away through the final 25-19. The tight battle continued in the second set. This time, after 17-17, it was Greece that rushed off to a solid lead with 5 points in a row to end up tying the match after 25-19. The largest gap that was ever created in the most interesting third set of the match was 3 points in favor of Montenegro at 19-16 and 20-17, but the Greeks reached set point at 24-22. They failed to close the set twice, but then recovered winning the next two rallies and the set by 26-24. The visiting team was in control through most of the fourth set, but the home side managed to catch up a few times, including at 23-23. Once again, the Greeks showed more character at the conclusion of the set and celebrated with the victory after 25-23.
Mitar Tzourits was by far the best scorer of the match contributing 27 points to Greece’s victory. Milos Culafic was Montenegro's top scorer with 18 points.
Slobodan Boskan, head coach of Montenegro: ''We gave the best of us in this match, but after the first set we lacked concentration and energy, so in my opinion that resolved the match in favor of Greece.''
Click here for more details, including match statistics and photos.