Sporting Lisbon won 3-1, but Narbonne volleyed the gold plate 17-15 to secure a place in the historic quarter-finals. In the next round, the Centurion will face the Swiss in Lausanne.
What a suspense! The Centurion will wait until the end of the night before liberating the entire arena and qualifying for the Challenge Cup quarterfinals at the conclusion of the Gold Race.
It wasn’t the madness of a great night in the arena stands, but the meeting between Narbonne and Lisbon was on a good level. Interestingly, Sporting won the match, but due to a 3-1 first-leg win over Narbonne volley, the two teams had to fight for the final set, synonymous with qualifying.
The Centurions got off to a good start, going 3-1 and then 7-3. But Lisbon pulled one back and didn’t let the Nabones escape (9-8). Portugal’s players were unleashed like a fierce attack from pointy Marceau (13-12). The two teams found themselves back-to-back (19-19) as money time loomed. The tension between the two teams was palpable, but Viricsimo kept Narbonne back in the game (23-22). In a fresh counterattack by the Jouffroy-Ramos duo, Narbonne Volley took the first set (25-22). At this point in the game, Guillermo Farasca’s players are one set away from qualifying for the Challenge Cup quarter-finals.
Airbags that cost almost anything to qualify
Lisbon got off to a strong start in the second set, leading 2-4 from the start. Narbonne was not at its best and the visitors could take advantage of it with a strong counter-attack from Gallego (5-7). In a long exchange, Bugera tied the two teams to a tie (8-8). The Centurion did not find success in the first set (9-13, then 11-16). They saw the Portuguese close to the end of the bout (13-19). Audois is trying to recover the score (17-22). Despite a fantastic comeback attempt, Lisbon won the set 24-26 and returned 1 set everywhere.
As in the second round, Lisbon quickly took a two-step lead (5-7). Narbonne Volley gradually trailed (12-13). But due to a positioning error, Narbonne saw Lisbon take off (13-16). P.E. was released again and made a sound (14-18). The Centurion couldn’t do it anymore and Lisbon flew away in the third round (17-22). The visiting team eventually won the set 20-25.
The fourth set was decisive for both sides. For some (Narbonne) the qualifications are at the end of the group, while for others (Lisbon) the idea of getting the locals into the crazy gold group. Still down and unable to take the lead, Narbonne (24-26) lost the round and Lisbon won 3-1, but it was what happened next and the decisive set that mattered.
The golden plate was played in a white-hot arena, and the Centurion immediately pressed the opponent (4-1). Narbonne sought public support at the end of the round of 16. On the side change, Freeman Durand yelled in all the stands (8-3). Tensions have gone up several notches and nothing can stop the Nabonays, fueled by incredible fury (10-5). The Oder machine fired at full speed, providing two quarterfinal balls (14-12). The fourth ball will be a good one, in a frenzy. Narbonne Volley provided a historic quarter-final and joined the Swiss in Lausanne in the next round.
Post-match reaction: “It’s incredible!”
Aimen Bugera: “It was incredible! A very tough game, we started the first set well. But then, we found some difficulties in the attack. In the golden series, we managed to make a difference. The atmosphere in our audience was very good. »
Rafael Araujo: “Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, I have had very little training and I have given my best for the team. The most important thing is quality. On the pitch, it is complicated for us to face a strong opponent. Now we are in It’s Saturday, so we have to prepare for Cannes. »