Estonian fairy tale continues in Sofia
2013 FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship - European Qualification
Sofia, Bulgaria, May 11, 2013. Estonia remains the real sensation of the qualification tournament for the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship running at “Hristo Botev” sports hall in Sofia. On Saturday the guys in blue jerseys downed Germany in three straight sets (25-21, 25-21, and 25-22) to claim their third consecutive win and stay atop of the charts before they play Israel on Sunday for the last round of action. In the other match of the day Romania completed their duty in Sofia by cruising to a 3:0 win over Israel (25-18, 25-17, and 25-21).
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Romania started out very well their last game of the tournament going up 8:2 in the first set of their clash with Israel. Even though Israel attempted a comeback, still Romania got a margin of six points by the second technical time-out and by combining good attacks with a solid defense could cruise to the provisional 1:0 in sets (25-18). After a close start (5:5), Israel moved to the front in the early stages of the second set (8:6) but Romania gradually found back their best play turning the tables around (14:11, 16:11). Israel fought bravely to narrow the gap (19:14) but Romania was not to challenge and could comfortably cruise to the final 25-19. The start of the third set did see the teams playing point for point before Romania broke away in the score after the first technical time-out (8:7, 14:10). After setting the pace at 16:12, the Romanians made some mistakes and their head coach Robert Dumitrescu was forced to call a time-out to stop Israel’s comeback. This move was successful as Romania got back control of the operations and sailed to the final 3:0 (25-21) for their first win in the tournament.
Estonia imposed their pace right from the start of the game with Germany (8:4) but the guys around head coach Adrian Pfleghar responded with solid blocks and good serving to level the score at 13 all. Still Estonia got a small lead (16:14) by the second technical time-out and this was slowly but surely widened up to the final 25-20 that was helped by some mistakes of the Germans in defense. Germany’s mentor asked for his first time-out quite early in the second set as his side trailed 2:4; Estonia got a margin of three (8:5) and did not show any weakness to set the pace of the game with real confidence. Yannick Harms brought Germany back on track for the 18 and 20 all but after that Estonia changed gear by scoring four consecutive points and the provisional 2:0 was there as the guys in blue jerseys cashed their second set ball (25-21). The real sensation did continue also in the third set with Estonia setting the tempo there all the way through for a 25-22 and 3:0 win to follow up on the major upset they had already caused on Friday by beating the home guys of Bulgaria.