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20/07/2017 22:54
Belgium and Estonia deliver superb performances as Germany come back from Wednesday’s setback
2018 FIVB Volleyball World Championship - Men

Kortrijk, Belgium, July 20, 2017. On Thursday Belgium added a second victory to their tally as they easily beat Belarus in three sets to keep a clean sheet after two rounds at the third-round World Championship qualifier they are hosting in Kortrijk. Germany came back from Wednesday’s loss to Spain by pulling out a 3-0 victory over Slovakia but had to fight hard for this result as all sets were just equally as close. Later in the evening, Estonia emulated Belgium by routing Spain in three sets to maintain their perfect record in the competition. The eventual winners of this single round robin tournament will qualify to next year’s World Championship in Italy and Bulgaria.

Slovakia vs. Germany

Germany bounced back from yesterday’s loss to Spain by rallying to a comprehensive 3-0 victory (25-23, 25-21, 26-24) in their matchup with Slovakia. The score remained close up until the end of each set, and Germany’s performance was not yet fully convincing.
“We lost this match only because of individual mistakes,” said Slovakia coach Andrej Kravarik after the game. “We did play well but we ended up losing 0-3, so this is quite frustrating. The players have to learn from their mistakes but the problem is that they do not do so. This takes time but you do not have that time when you play for the national team.”

Germany coach Andrea Giani was obviously more satisfied than on Wednesday, especially with the result. “We take it day by day and one match at a time. I take some positives from this match because my players did well from a physical and technical standpoint. They sometimes needed too many attempts to score, but today they succeeded in doing so in the crucial moments of the match.”

Belgium vs. Belarus

Even though they were missing yesterday’s top scorer Bram Van den Dries, out due to a little injury, hosts Belgium showed no mercy for Belarus (3-0; 25-18, 25-12, 25-17). Belgium set the tone of the match with their blocks in the first set and Sam Deroo followed suit from the service line in the second.
“Mission accomplished,” said Belgium opposite Gert Van Walle. “If we can reach and keep this level, I think that the future of this team looks bright. We have a very good ambiance in the group and this can help too.”
“We played better yesterday against Estonia but today our reception was not good enough to beat this strong Belgian team,” said Belarus coach Aliaksandr Sinhayeuski.

Estonia vs. Spain

In the last match of the day, Spain could not repeat the sensation they had caused the day before when playing Germany. Estonia had scouted their opponent very well and with the trio consisting of strongman Oliver Venno, Ardo Kreek and Robert Täht, they cruised to a 3-0 victory (25-22, 25-20, 25-19) to emulate Belgium with a perfect record so far in the tournament.

“We did not play any more matches after the World League Group 3 Finals in Mexico and therefore it has been a little difficult to find our rhythm but I think we played better than we did on the first day of the tournament against Belarus,” Kreek said. “Today we played at a high level and I hope we will continue the same way until the end of the tournament. It was good to win 3-0 against Spain today because we did not waste too much energy. We stay cool and we will try to win the next matches as well with our power.”

Spain coach Fernando Munoz Benitez confirmed his team had played better against Germany. “Today we had problems in attack and side-out as well,” he said. “We also let our 16-11 lead in the first set slip away from our hands and that was the key to the final result. We will do our best against Belgium tomorrow, since this is almost our last chance to claim a ticket to the World Championship.”

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the matches

News nr. 4 of 25
21/07/2017 23:16:00
Belgium make it three wins in a row before all-deciding matches with Germany and Estonia
19/07/2017 22:49:00
Spain stun Germany as Red Dragons rout Slovakia on Day 1 in Kortrijk

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