Netherlands move to the top as Belgium loses invincibility
2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men
Tallinn, Estonia, September 15, 2012. The Netherlands and the home guys of Estonia continued their campaign in Pool B of the 2013 European Championship by downing Israel and previous Pool leader Belgium respectively for the second of three day of actions in Tallinn. The Netherlands scored a speedy 3:0 win (27-25, 25-19, 25-20) to edge Israel at “Kalev” sports hall in Tallinn and moved up to first place in Pool B.
Israel initially set the pace of the game in the opening set (8:7 and 21:18) but afterwards the operations were fully controlled by the Netherlands, taking the first set with the score of 27-25. Israel could not find a good rhythm in set 2, while the Dutch went up (8:5 and 22:19) and cruised straight to the end. The Netherlands continued in great fashion by combining powerful attacks and great defense to demolish the resistance of Israel and claim the third set with a convincing 25-20, a score that clearly reflected their dominance. Three Dutch players ended in double digits as Thijs ter Horst shined with 7 blocks for the winners while Alexander Shafranovich was the only Israeli player to score more than 10 points.
After winning all of their previous four matches Belgium could not prolong their winning streak against Estonia. Belgium claimed the opening set with the score of 25-17 via the attacks of their superstar Bram van Den Dries but that was all. Estonia then found some good rhythm, assisted by great fighting spirit. The second set contributed many emotions and turnarounds; Belgium set the pace there (8:4) but Estonia finally found their way into the game with great composure leading 16:13 and finishing the set 25-22. Nothing changed in the third set were both teams were very even but the home team managed to bring it home at 25-22. The fourth set was even up to the score of 14:14; then Estonia made the difference with good serving. Substitute Martti Keel was able to put pressure from the serving line and the home heroes took a 22:17 lead. The final 25-20 meant a much needed win for Estonia to stay alive in the competition before playing the Netherlands on Sunday.
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