Estonia bring Netherlands to their knees in CEV Volleyball European Golden League 2019
Luxembourg, 2 June, 2019. The Estonian men s team have outlasted the Netherlands in the Pool B closer of the weekend. After having led 2-0, they saw the Lange Mannen coming back. In a tough fifth set the Estonian came out on top. Spain lead the pool after their victory over Croatia on Saturday. The women from Finland have left the last place in Pool C of the 2019 CEV Volleyball European Golden League to Azerbaijan after beating them in a direct confrontation in four sets. Finland s blocking was off the chart with 15 kills, making it almost impossible for Azerbaijan to get in rhythm. Finland are now third in Pool C behind Belarus and Spain who met on Saturday.
- In the first set, Azerbaijan and Finland were sizing each other up, not leaving the other out of their sight (7-7 and 11-11), but Finland ultimately won the set 25-17. Their blocking power was through the roof with 7 scored in that first set alone.
- In the second set, Finland was leading all the way starting with a 9-0 run, the set was easily won, as they managed to keep that difference: 25-16.
- The third part ended with victory for Azerbaijan team by 25-19, the only set Finland failed to put one block point on the board.
- With 25-22 in the fourth set, Finland made sure they collected maximum three points from this third leg match.
- Top scorer was Finland s Saara Hannele Esko with 22 points. Krista Michaela Bjerregård Madsen scored a total of 8 block points.
Tapio Kangasniemi, head coach of Finland: “We played a good game in the first two sets, especially in defence and attack. Though we lost the third set, generally our team was good and could take the victory. Azerbaijan plays different volleyball than us.”
Laura Pihlajamäki, captain of Finland: “We played a good match and won. I congratulate my teammates.”
Giovanni Caprara, head coach of Azerbaijan: “We played bad in the first two sets, especially in reception and attack. We couldn’t find the right positions for our attack. In the third set, we could show a better performance. In the last set, the girls made many mistakes - what resulted in the victory of Finland. It was difficult to play against this team, because they play different and fast volleyball. Moreover, we started training just two weeks ago and we didn’t have enough time to get ready for the matches. I believe step by step the girls will play good volleyball. I am satisfied that my team fought for every ball and I hope for better results in future.”
Ayshan Abdulazimova, captain of Azerbaijan: “In the first two sets we couldn’t play well, but in the third set we could find our rhythm. I think today we played better than we did in the match against Spain. We still made many mistakes. Finland made fast attacks, that was why we weren’t good at blocking. I hope for better results in the next matches.”
- Almost 1,500 spectators enjoyed a nice thriller as it took five sets to decide the winner. Estonia won the first two sets, but the Netherlands improved at service in the third and the end was unpredictable. "It was the crowd that carried us through the five sets to the win," said Hindrek Pulk, who scored 18 points.
- For some young players of Team Estonia this was the first win in the European Golden League.
- Andrus Raadik found his game today after struggling in the first two matches, scoring 22 points for the winning side.
- The first win for Estonia means that the Netherlands have lost their first match. Spain top Pool B now, followed by the Lange Mannen from Holland, Croatia and Estonia.
Gheorghe Cretu, head coach of Estonia: “Many players in this team have not tasted the win in this league yet, so for them I am really happy – this is the reward for the work they have done. The team worked as one today, experienced players supported the young guys and everyone played their role well.”
Roberto Piazza, head coach of the Netherlands. “We lost 2-3 to a team that left everything on the court. I told my players at the beginning that Estonia played their first two matches away and here they will have their fans screaming and cheering for them. Estonia played a good match, and we must be more confident.”
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