Greece to battle for European ticket via third qualification round
2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men
Vantaa, Finland, September 16, 2012. With Finland having qualified for the final round of the 2013 European Championship already on Saturday, Greece eventually got the chance to continue their campaign in the third and last qualification round scheduled for May after the operations in Pool D came to a close on Sunday at Energia Areena in Vantaa. Greece opened the program of the last day by edging Romania in straight sets (25-18, 25-12, and 25-16) and with Finland besting Montenegro in five sets (25-18, 21-25, 25-21, 27-29, and 15-9), the Hellenic side could finally settle for second in the Pool.
Romania went up briefly in the opening set of their match with Greece (6:4) before the side coached by Alekos Leonis got full control of the operations up to the very end (25-18). Middle blocker Georgios Petreas suffered an ankle injury in the second set and eventually left the court being replaced by Panagiotis Pelekoudas who played pretty well and helped Greece go for the 2:0. Romania caught a good start also in set 3 and the score remained close up to 12 all, before Greece re-asserted their supremacy to pocket a 3:0 win. Mitar Tzourits top scored for Greece with 19 points while Marian Bala paced Romania with only six.
In order to cruise past Greece in the standings, Montenegro needed to beat Finland 3:0 or 3:1 but this did not happen. “We had already missed our chances in the previous matches with Romania and Greece. We wanted to finish second in the group and hence we can’t be satisfied. Our big goal was to get our nation to the third round for the first time in history” said head coach Ivan Joksimovic. Already qualified for the final round, Finland played with their best line-up and showed the same fighting spirit that had brought to victory on Saturday against Greece. “It was a difficult game for us and it went up and down. However, I think it is important that the players wanted to finish the tournament with a win” said home mentor Daniel Castellani.
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