Germany qualifies to World League finals for first time in history
2012 FIVB World League
Luxembourg, July 2, 2012. Germany joined this past weekend hosts Bulgaria and Poland – winner of preliminary Pool B – to extend the European contingent for the final round of the 2012 FIVB World League that is coming up later this week in Sofia. This is also the first time in their history that the Germans make it to the finals of this elitist competition, a result that paired up with the Olympic ticket booked some three weeks ago in Berlin re-asserts the outstanding quality of play being displayed by the guys mentored by Vital Heynen.
The Belgian-born head coach said after the 3:0 win over Portugal that sealed the final standings of Pool D: “We are happy with the victory. It is really important for us that we made it to the finals. The team did not give Portugal the chance to play the way our opponents wanted. The statistics show that everybody was doing their job and now we are looking forward to the final round”.
With Cuba and Brazil being also part of the starting field for the final round that will take place in the magnificent “Armeec Arena” in Bulgaria’s capital city, the last side to make it there were the United States after Clayton Stanley anchored his group to a 3:2 win over Italy in Dallas on Sunday. “We are pleased,” USA coach Alan Knipe said afterward. “It was a must-win for us against a quality opponent, an Olympic opponent. It allows us to go on and gain experience before London”. With this result the US Americans cruised past France in the charts of Pool C; after beating Korea 3:0 the men around head coach Philippe Blain – who was at the helm of the group for the last time as he is going to be replaced by Laurent Tillie right after the World League – needed a clear Italian win over the USA to finish atop of the group but this scenario did eventually not turn into reality.
The final round of the 2012 FIVB World League will start this coming Wednesday and run through Sunday, July 8, with last year’s winner Russia having missed out on the opportunity to retain its crown.
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