Israel tough defensive tactics help them rally past Russia
Tough defence and Or Levi’s efficiency was Israel’s main weapons in their fight against Russia. The Israeli team was never really threatened by the Russians and secured their second victory in as many matches at VRILITTOS 2018.
Counting out the first 15 minutes, the 3-2-1 defence used by Nikola Maksimovic troubled Russia’s attack, while goalkeeper Itai Gingold was there to defend the post whenever their Russians found the way to penetrate deep into the Israeli defence.
Levi produced the highlight of the game by scoring from the 9m at the end of the first half.
That goal awarded Israel a five-point lead (16:11), a difference that proved to be a heavy burden for Russia, although they temporarily cut the difference to three goals (16:13) with three minutes into the second part of the game.
Israel responded with a 4:0 run to extend their lead to seven goals (20:13) and later on to nine goals (23:14), thus ending Russia’s hopes for a late comeback.
ISRAEL – RUSSIA 31:28
Scoreline: 2:2, 4:3, 7:7, 12:9, 14:10, 16:11 (halftime) 17:13, 21:14, 25:16, 28:21, 30:23, 31:28
ISRAEL (Nikola Maksimovic): Cohen, Zo Letova, Levi, R. Livgot, Shulman, Horvitz, Hadar, Gola, Maman, Luzon, Salvador Shalma, Dahan, Moradov, Buhnik, I. Livgot, Gingold.
RUSSIA (Aleksandr Kovalenko): Egorov, Il. Kovalenko, Lebedev, Ibrakov, Kandybin, Gavrilov, Filimonenko, Presniakov, Evdokimov, Morozov, Epifanov, Pobochii, Alekseev, Delev, Stepanenko 1, Gogolev, Solovev, Bychkov
Referees: Mihajlovic – Hercegovac (Bosnia Herzegovina). 2 mins Suspensions: 6-3. 7m: ½ – 2/3
Nikola Maksimovic (Coach Israel): “Although we weren’t 100 percent focused throughout the whole game, we grabbed two more precious points and now we will play the hosts in a match that will decide the group’s first place.
“Greece is very good team, with technically strong players. Defence will be the key to win the game, as well as the performance of the goalkeepers.”
Aleksandr Kovalenko (Coach Russia): «Once again we faced a lot of difficulties, especially in defence. We must look very carefully upon our mistakes and try to improve as quick as possible.”