Belgium snatch victory over Finland


Belgium's Kevin Klinkenberg receives in their opening FIVB World League match against Finland on 23 May 2015

Tampere, Finland, May 23, 2015 – Belgium came out strongly in their FIVB World League 2015 opener quickly stamping their authority on the first set and going on to win 3-2 (25-20, 30-28, 20-25, 23-25, 15-7). Finland’s Olli-Pekka Ojansivu kills from the wing gave the Belgians a hard time and the Finns edged ahead for the first time at 14-13, prompting a Belgian timeout. A huge block by Sam Deroo put Belgium back in the lead which is where they would stay for the remainder of the first set. Deroo then closed the set, earning 10 points for Belgium in the first and went on the be top scorer of the day securing 25 in total.

Belgium got off to an equally good start in the second helped along by Pieter Coolman’s string of aces. Finland began to fight back claiming six points in a row to bring the score to 9-8 with a big block by Eemi Tervaportti.  A gritty performance from both sides saw Finland’s Matti Oivanen save the first set point, then taking Belgium all the way to an incredible ninth set point before consistently instrumental play by Deroo ended the second 28-30.

The third began closely with points equally exchanged between the teams, but excellent serving by Finnish captain Antti Siltala put Finland in the lead. A long run of points for Finland put hopes of a straight sets victory for Belgium out of the question. The fourth saw Finland firmly establishing their game, gaining the advantage with some strong attacks by Urpo Sivula sending the match into the tie-break.

In the decider Finland began to suffer on their attack and with Deroo producing magic from the wing, Belgium gained a five point lead. The Belgians did not lose their cool in the final stages and secured the win on the second match point.

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