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El-Gaish lose Volleyball Club World Championship opener to Zenit Kazan
Tala’a El-Gaish qualified for the tournament, held in Brazil between 18 and 23 October, after defeating Tunisia’s Esperance 3-1 and winning the 2016 African Clubs Champions Championship for the first time in their history.
The European champions earned a comfortable victory over their African counterpart, winning 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-15). The top scorer for the African champions was Ahmed Salah with 10 points.
Despite losing, Tala’ea El-Gaish captain Rashad Atia expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance.
“I think we did our best, because we faced such a strong team as Zenit Kazan. We prepared for this tournament during the last three months and despite the difference, I’m rather pleased with the effort and the level at some moments,” Atia told the tournament’s official website.
El-Gaish coach Sherif El-Shemerly spoke about the difficulties facing his team, revealing that some of his players haven’t taken part in an official game for months.
“As I underlined already, it’s our first time here, and we have also to face two of the best teams in the world, both aiming for the title – Zenit Kazan and Sada Cruzeiro,” Shemerly said.
“I felt it was a serious game for them and that was a sign of respect towards us. For ten of the players it was also their first game after five months,” he added.
Tala’a El-Gaish are now joint-bottom of Group A on zero points alongside Taiwanese Taichung Bank Club, who lost 3-0 to Brazil’s Sada Cruzeiro. The Egyptian champions are set to face reigning champions Sada Cruzeiro on Wednesday before playing against Taichung Bank on Thursday.