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11/01/2019 21:00
Italy claim comprehensive victory over France in #EuroVolleyU17M qualifier
2019 CEV U17 Volleyball European Championship - Men

Viana do Castelo, Portugal, January 11, 2019. The WEVZA qualifier for this year’s #EuroVolleyU17M continued on Friday in Viana do Castelo with Italy claiming a 3-0 victory in the ‘big match’ with France in Pool B where the top spot in the group was at stake. Belgium beat Germany by the same score to finish the pool phase in third place. Portugal won the derby with Spain in Pool A to play France in the semis. The eventual winners of this competition will qualify for the Final Round due to take place in July in Sofia, Bulgaria. Live streaming of all matches is available here.

Pool A

Portugal vs. Spain 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-9)

Portugal dominated the first set and closed it with an ace by their captain Manuel Figueiredo. Even though Spain played better, Portugal took the lead in the second set as well with their strong serving game as well as with their effective block and defence. Motivated by the support of their fans, Portugal showed a great game in the third set, thus closing the match 3-0 in their favour. Nuno Marques top scored for Portugal with 24 points, as Luke Belda registered nine for Spain.

Nuno Pereira, coach of Portugal: “It was a very important match and the team gave the right answer. With the qualification for the semi-finals, we guaranteed ourselves at least a spot in the second round of qualifications in April. Today the team served well and our block/defence game worked very well too. Congratulations to my players! I want to believe that we can play a good match with France in the semis and I feel that we have the team to pull out a surprise…”

Pool B

Italy vs. France 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-20)

This was a big match since many regard these two teams as the top favourites for the sole ticket at stake for the Final Round of #EuroVolleyU17M. Italy were the clear winners of this match and under the leadership of Luca Porro, they played an almost impeccable game to seal their third victory in the competition, thus securing first place in Pool B. Ranieri Truocchio of Italy and Louis Sakanoko-Nadirian of France were the top scorers of this match with 13 points apiece. 

Luca Porro, team captain of Italy: “We claimed a 3-0 victory against France, which is a very difficult opponent, but I would not say yet that we are the top favourites of this tournament. We have not won anything and we should focus on our team spirit, since I think that this is our greatest asset.”

Belgium vs. Germany 3-0 (25-11, 25-18, 28-26)

Belgium had a terrific start to the match, with Jippe Schroeven serving from the first whistle up to 16-0, thus making it very clear who was going to win the first set. The second set was much closer, before Belgium broke away halfway through. Germany set the pace for most of the third set but Belgium fought back and eventually claimed their first victory in the tournament after a dramatic 28-26 close. Jannes Wiesner of Germany top scored in the match with 14 points as Senne Gilford was the most prolific player for Belgium with 13.

Wim De Boeck, head coach of Belgium: “It was not an easy victory. We started the match serving very well, but we could not maintain that same rhythm in the following sets. I am happy with the victory, since we can now fight for fifth place, but not so much satisfied with our performance. We have to play better because the level of this tournament is very high and it is good to see these youngsters playing such a good game.”

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