Croatia upsets Oranjes to claim first place in Pool A
2014 FIVB Volleyball World Championship - Men
Zagreb, Croatia, May 26, 2013. The hosts of Croatia caused on Sunday a sensation as they downed the Netherlands in three straight sets (25-23, 28-26, and 25-20) to finish first in Pool A and advance directly to the third round of the World Championship qualification process scheduled for early January. On the other hand the Oranjes settled for second and will re-start their campaign via the second-round qualifier scheduled for early October.
Some 1’000 fans were in attendance at Dom odbojke Bojan Stranic for the real highlight of the weekend. After losing a very close first set, the Netherlands seemed to be back on track as they went up 24:22 in the second, but Croatia drew level at 24 all and flipped the charts around to go for the final 28-26 by exploiting excellent serving and attacking by Ivan Raic. The Dutch seemed to have lost confidence and focus in the third set and Croatia exploited a unique opportunity to score their most important victory of the past few years.
With both teams being already out of contention for a spot in the next stage of the qualification process for the 2014 FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Championship, Azerbaijan claimed on Sunday their first win in the tournament by edging Bosnia and Herzegovina 3:1 (27-25, 15-25, 25-18, and 25-23). With this result Azerbaijan finished the competition in third place while Bosnia had to settle for fourth. Bosnia and Herzegovina still had some chances in the game but missed out on two set balls in the first section of the game before unleashing their power in the second (25-15). However, Azerbaijan found back their best play to dominate set 3 (25-18) and stormed back in the fourth after trailing 13:19 to score an incredible series of consecutive points whereby they brought the match home with the score of 3:1.
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