In second eighth finals day, Italy destroys Latvia and will face Germany, who defeats Bulgaria in four sets. The Netherlands to quarterfinals for the first time since 2009 after a thrilling tie break vs. Portugal. Tie break win also for Serbia, who defeats a very combative Turkey.
In first match of today’s 1/8 finals, six-time European Champions Italy destroys Latvia in straight sets.
The winners of the Ostrava’s Pool B fulfilled the role of favorite defeated the rivals by 3:0 (25:14, 25:13, 25:16).
Only in the third set Latvia did gain a two point lead thanks to two blocks in a row, with which they pleased their fans who arrived in Ostrava. However, after that, it was Italy that simply played their game, quickly regained the lead and claimed the victory.
Italy dominated in all elements, including in blocking (12-2!) and from the service line (5-0).
Avo Keel, Latvian coach: “It was a real difference between both teams. When you face such a strong team as Italy, you can clearly see variances in every playing activity. When the opponent is weaker, those variances aren’t that big. Italy is a technique team and play very quick. We are happy for being a part of the round of sixteen.”
Daniele Lavia, Italian outside spiker: “It was a very good match from our side. I think the key factors of today’s win were our serve and blocks. Latvia played very well on this tournament so I didn’t expect it to be that clear. However we were strong today and this is why we defeated them.”
What a match in the first EuroVolley 2021 eighth finals match of the day in Ergo Arena in Gdańsk between the national teams of the Netherlands and Portugal!
The Netherlands, led once again by its captain Nimir Abdel-Aziz, qualify to quarterfinals for the first time since 2009 by beating the rivals by 3-2 (22:25, 25:22, 26:24, 20:25 and 15:13)
The Dutch captain of course topped the scorer ranking with 159 point to his name, including today’s 37 (including 2 blocks and 3 aces).
Alex Ferreira was the most prolific player for Portugal with 16 points, while 39-year-old Hugo Gaspar added 14, 8 only in first set, and Filip Cveticanin made 8 winning blocks.
Nimir Abdel Aziz, captain of the Netherlands: “The victory is the most important. Honestly, I don’t care how many points I made, because only the result is important. I don’t think that it was a good match on a good level for us, but we won and that’s what counts.”
Miguel Tavares, setter of Portugal: “I’m very proud of my team, we are an inexperienced team at this level of competition, so I think that we made a good run. Obviously, when you lose 3-2 and 15-13 in tie-break it’s always hard to accept, but I think we played a really good tournament, everyone played a huge role in our team. Today we lost our chance in the second set, we were leading but we lost so it was hard for our morale and it was not easy to come back. Nimir played an amazing tie-break, we couldn’t stop him.”
In the second match in Ostrava, Germany claim a great victory over Bulgaria in four sets (25:14, 18:25, 25:19, 25:22). The team commanded by Italian expert Andrea Giani dominated the first set, then suffered in the second, and reacted deservedly conquering the third and fourth sets, to reach Italy in the quarter-finals.
The winners dominated in all elements, from the service line, with 9 aces (versus 5 for rivals), and in blocking (7-4), but also in attack: 64% vs. 49%.
Moritz Karlitzek was the top scorer of the match with 19 points and 58% in attack, while Georg Grozer also contributed with 17, including two consecutive winning blocks, decisive in the fourth set.
No Bulgarian player reached a double digit.
György Grozer, Germany opposite: “It was a hard game today especially when we made so many mistakes. Like always we were little nervous. In the second set, Bulgaria served stronger and we lost our concentration. To sum up it was a strange game today. I am very happy for Jan Zimmermann, he showed great performance, led the team and was amazing today. In the end we worked as a team and that is fantastic. I am glad that we make the next step.”
Tsvetan Sokolov, Bulgaria opposite: “We had many chances but we took only one of them an won just one set. We spoiled easy balls and gave the opportunity to Germany players. We lost the game by ourselves, it wasn’t a good match from our side and we have to learn from it.”
In the last eighth final of the day in Gdansk, defending champs Serbia barely survive against Turkey.
The reigning champions had a very difficult game, as they were down 2-1 and had to take the last two sets to advance to the quarterfinals. Turkey gave a huge resistance and they were very close to knock out Serbia but in the end, they didn’t manage to make it.
Adis Lagumdzija in Turkey’s jersey was the top scorer of the game with 20 points (7 points only in second set!), while Uros Kovacevic ended the game with 18 point in the winning side (8 in the tie break!).
Serbia progresses to quarterfinal to face the Netherlands.
Marko Ivovic, outside hitter of Serbia: “If you don’t respect your opponent things like that happen. It was a case against Greece and also today. We didn’t learn from the past and this is a mistake, because we gave a chance to the opponent to take us into their game and then it’s difficult to play. I think that if you want to be the champion you have to play like a champion. Always take the opponent in your game and show your game like we did in the first set. We didn’t give them a chance to play what they know and it was our game.”
Adis Lagumdzija, opposite of Turkey: “I think we played a great game. There were a couple mistakes at the end in the last set, and also in the end of fourth set, because we could close this game 3-1, but it is what it is – we lost. They fought better than us, but we also thought very well. I’m proud of my team. We gave our best. We spent together almost three months, there is a great group of people and I’m always happy to be with them.”
| CEV EuroVolley 2021 | EIGHTH FINALS
👉🏼 September 12, 2021
• Italy (B1) – Latvia (D4) 3-0 (25:14, 25:13, 25:16)
| PHOTOGALLERY OF THE MATCH
• The Netherlands (C1) – Portugal (A4) 3-2 (22:25, 25:22, 26:24, 20:25, 15:13)
• Germany (D2) – Bulgaria (B3) 3-1 (25:14, 18:25, 25:19, 25:22)
| PHOTOGALLERY OF THE MATCH
• Serbia (A2) – Turkey (C3) 3-2 (25:18, 22:25, 22:25, 25:23, 15:12)
| September 13, 2021
• Slovenia (B2) – Croatia (D3), 4 p.m. CET
• France (D1) – Czech Republic (B4), 7 p.m.