Romania dashes Austria's World Championship dreams
2014 FIVB Volleyball World Championship - Men
Kortrijk, Belgium, May 24, 2013. In what was an extremely important game to determine the fate of these teams in the qualification process for the 2014 FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Championship, Romania beat Austria in straight sets (25-23, 25-19, and 29-27) in the second day of action in Kortrijk. After they lost to Belgium on Thursday, the chances for the Austrian players to finish at least as runner-up in the Pool to make it to the second round scheduled for next October look minimized.
As the Romanian team has been completely rejuvenated, the hosts of Belgium – enjoying on Friday a day off – were very much interested to see where this side stands and if it can pose a threat to their intention to finish first in the group and advance directly to the third round of the World Qualifications. Austria caught a good start in the first set leading by two points for most of the time and was up 20:18 as the final rush of the set was approaching. Thomas Zass and Marcus Guttmann did a good job for Austria but Romania could display their best play when it counted the most flipping the table around with Ciprian Matei and with Elen Lucian Tofan sealing the final 25-23.
Romania set the pace of the game right from the start of the second set with Tofan and Mihai Gheorghita helping their side go up 20:16 with the 25-19 that meant the provisional 2:0 following only a few minutes later.
It was Romanian-born team captain Daniel Razvan Gavan who took Austria by the hand in set 3 making sure the score was even (8:8) at the first technical time-out. Zass helped Austria move to the front twice (12:9 and 17:13) but Romania fought their way back and flipped the charts around (18:17 and 21:19). The final rush of the set was really dramatic with Dan Borota and Aleksandar Blagojevic playing the drums for Romania and Austria respectively. Peter Wohlfahrtstätter – who this past season played in Belgium and namely in Antwerp – could save two match balls for the Romanians and get one set point for his side but Tofan and Borota did not agree with the scenario of a fourth set and finished it off at 29-27.
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