Motor not an outsider – Meshkov not a clear favorite

Meshkov Brest

One of the most attractive SEHA Quarter final matches will definitely be the one between Meshkov Brest and Motor Zaporozhye. First leg is scheduled for Saturday (15.00 CET) in Brest. Motor are arriving to Belarus as small underdogs but with a hope of stunning Meshkov and securing a Final 4 spot for themselves in their rookie season. This will, on the other hand, be a real test for Meshkov after two easy eighth-finals encounters against Beijing Sport University.

Two teams have already met twice this season in EHF Champions League with Meshkov securing two victories. Both teams have however failed to get through the group stage and have ever since shifted their entire focus towards the regional competition. Despite of the fact Belarusians eventually managed to reach two victories, matches were quite tense and narrow and we don’t expect anything different this time.

It will be interesting to see whether Meshkov will manage to adapt to a way higher quality level after they convincingly defeated BSU twice in the beginning of the week. Ukrainians have also had more time to prepare for this one which will definitely help them, especially after they lost a few players during the last few months.

Tense matchup is ahead of us and chances are that nothing will be decided until the final whistle in Zaporozhye so stay tuned!

Raul Alonso, Meshkov Brest coach:
This will be our third encounter of the season. We’ve managed to win first two but it is obvious our two teams are on a pretty much same level. I expect a very motivated opponent eager to book place in the final tournament. First match, the one we’re playing at home, will be very important – we have to open it well and do everything to achieve a win in the end. We need to be focused. I expect guys to be in good shape and ready. The only player we won’t be able to count on in this one is Artem Kulak.

Maxim Baranau, Meshkov Brest player:
These are two Slavic teams. Motor want to take revenge for defeats in our last two encounters in EHF Champions League. I’m sure they will be highly-motivated and ready. I expect this to be a tough match which fans will enjoy watching. We’re playing the first one at home and we have to do everything to secure an advantage prior to the trip to Zaporozhye.