Qatar’s Younousse and Tijan march into Katara Cup semis
March 08 2018 10:21 PM
Qatar’s Cherif Younousse (left) and Ahmed Tijan (right) in action during their match against Michal Bryl and Grzegorz Fijalek of Poland at the FIVB Katara Cup Beach Volleyball yesterday. PICTURES: Jayaram

By Sports Reporter/Doha

Qatar’s Cherif Younousse (left) and Ahmed Tijan celebrate their quarter-final win at the Katara Cultural Village yesterday.

Qatar’s Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan defeated Poland’s Michal Bryl and Grzegorz Fijalek 2-1 to enter the semi-finals of the FIVB World Tour Katara Cup Beach Volleyball 

At the Katara Cultural Village, the Qataris, who managed to enter the knock out round of the 4-star event after losing two matches in the group phase on Wednesday, won three yesterday, including a thriller against the Polish rivals. Younousse and Tijan started slowly against Bryl and Fijalek and lost the first set 15-21, but they came back strongly in the next two to win 21-16, 15-10 in 47 minutes.
“I’m so tired, but I gave my best until we finished the day on a high,” Tijan said after winning three tough rounds. 
“It will be the same tomorrow and we will give our best to be in the final at this beautiful venue as I want to carry on playing here. 
“In the first set they were serving so well and that made receiving hard. But we started to play better in the second set and used our service to pressure them. It gave us opportunities and they started to make bad passes and bad receptions and that gave us the chance to get up and block them.”
Earlier in the day, Younousse and Tijan defeated Canada’s Sam Pedlow and Sam Schachter 21-19, 21-14 in their first knock-out match before surviving in three sets against Norway’s Anders Berntsen Mol and Christian Sandlie Sorum 18-21, 21-18, 20-18 in the quarter-finals.
The Qataris will take on Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen in the semi-finals today at 3.30pm after the fifth-seed Dutch duo defeated Brazilians Saymon Barbosa Santos and Alvaro Morais Filho 19-21, 21-19, 22-20 in the last eight.
Brouwer-Meeuwsen are chasing their second World Tour medal of 2018 having won bronze at The Hague 4-star tournament at the start of the year. 
“We had to play with our guts and put our heart on the court,” Brouwer said. 
“To be in the semis is a big reward, but it is just the start. We just had to keep pushing and we played with guts and took a few risks and I’m really happy with the win. It was important we regained focus on the things we want to improve, and each training session in pre-season was fully focused.
“We want to win tournaments this year, so hopefully we can start tomorrow.”
To-ssed Philip Dalhausser and Nicholas Lucena of the US will take on Russians Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Igor Velichko in the second semi-final.
Dalhausser-Lucena got the better of Poland’s Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak 37-35, 13-21, 15-6, Stoyanovskiy and Velichko defeated Latvia’s Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins 21-15, 21-13.

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