Same arena, same position: Like in 2017, when Brest was the host of the SEHA – Gazprom League Final 4 for the first time, hosts Meshkov Brest finished on the bronze rank on Wednesday in Victoria Arena. The Belarus champions did not have any problems in defeating Final 4 debutants Nexe from Croatia in a quite dominant way 24:19 (12:8). Best scorers were Maxim Baranau, Marin Sipic and Halil Jaganjac by five goals each. Besides, Meshkov goalkeeper Ivan Pesic imprinted the bronze medal match of the 2018/19 SEHA – Gazprom League by ten saves.
As their compatriot Ivan Pesic in the Meshkov goal stood like a wall, Nexe still have to wait for their first victory at a Final 4 of the SEHA - Gazprom League. In general, the hosts were the stronger team throughout the whole match, as Nexe both had problems in attack and defence. Mainly in the first half, Meshkov could score easy-going goals, mainly by wing Maxim Baranau. Nexe’s defence was too far away from their opponents, and on the other hand, they could not put enough pressure on Meshkov in attack.
Boosted by their fans, the Final 4 hosts had a perfect start, forging ahead 5:1 and 8:3. Already in the early stage, Pesic was on fire, but even the Croat could not completely stop the team of Hrvoje Horvat in the middle of the first half, when Nexe managed to reduce the gap to 7:10 in their strongest period.
After the break the advance were at least four goals, but latest when the score was 19:13 in favour of Brest, the deal was sealed in a mostly one-sided match.
Photo credit: Kolektiff Images