Another lucky tie-break for Belgium as Estonia scores precious home win
2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men
Tallinn, Estonia, September 14, 2012. After winning all of their matches this past week in Kortrijk Belgium stretched their winning streak in the opening match of the second round robin for Pool B by edging Netherlands with the score of 3:2 (23-25, 23-25, 25-21, 25-22 and 21-19).
The match finally ended with the same score as last week in Kortrijk with Belgium securing their first place in Pool B. Belgium’s last three matches in this European campaign have been all claimed with the score of 3:2, bouncing back from 2 sets down. In the first day of the tournament held in Tallinn, the Netherlands seized sets 1 and 2 with same score (25-23). Things changed in set 3 and 4 where Belgium showed some good energy, winning these sections with the score of 25-21 and 25-22. It seemed that the Netherlands could finish the match with a win as they went up 14:11 in the final set. However, Belgium fought back and finished the match with a very impressive 3:2 win; the Netherlands had 8 match points in the tie-break. Kevin Klinkenberg was Belgium’s top scorer with 18 points while Jeroen Rauwerdink registered 21 for the Netherlands.
In the other match of the day the home guys of Estonia managed to win a tough encounter against Israel with the score of 3:1 (25-19, 25-18, 20-25, 26-24). However, the local heroes had serious problems in set 3 and 4, after winning the first two. Israel almost came back from two sets down having a set ball in the fourth set (24:23) but Argo Meresaar blocked for the 25:24 and Ardo Kreek finished the match with another block. A home crowd of almost 1’500 people could finally celebrate a well-deserved 3:1 win, which left Estonia alive in the competition.
“This match was very similar to the one we played last week in Belgium, where we struggled to finish off the match. In the first two sets everything worked well but then Israel made some good efforts in defense and attack, changed gear and almost cruised to the fifth set. We have a similar match coming up tomorrow, when it is all or nothing. We must take 3 points against Belgium and the Netherlands to qualify for the European Championship” said the head coach of team Estonia Avo Keel.
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