Netherlands edge past Portugal in thriller


Bontje blocks for the Netherlands

Matosinhos, Portugal, May 17, 2015 – For the second day in a row, Netherlands beat Portugal on the opening weekend of the FIVB World League – but they were made to work much harder for their 3-2 (17-25, 25-18, 24-26, 25-21, 15-12) victory on Sunday than for their 3-1 win on Saturday.

As they had done in Saturday’s match, Portugal won the opening set of the match, 25-17. Portugal’s Hugo Gaspar stood out with six attacking points, assisted by kills from Sila Fabricio, Andre Lopes and Alexandre Ferreira.

As yesterday, however, the Netherlands pulled their game together better in the second set. Andre Lopes blocked superbly for the Portuguese again, but Kay van Dijk’s blocking, Dick Kooy’s serving and Thomas Koelewijn’s spikes all contributed as the Dutch levelled the match 1-1 with a 25-18 set win.

The third set saw some explosive spiking from Van Dijk and great blocking from Bontje for the Dutch, but Gaspar and Lopes were inspired as Portugal won the set 26-24 to lead 2-1. But the Dutch forced a decider, with Kooy excellent as they took the set 25-21.

And they pressed home their advantage in the fifth set, with Kooy dominant and Portugal making too many mistakes, to win it 15-12. The top scorer in the match was Hugo Gaspar with 23 points. Kooy top scored for Netherlands with 19. The result means Netherlands are top of Pool E with five points. Portugal have just one. Follow the match as it happened here.


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