Groningen, Netherlands, June 20, 2015 - Portugal earned their first victory of the 2015 FIVB World League with a thrilling 3-2 (15-25, 25-21, 25-23, 21-25, 15-11) win over Netherlands in Pool E on Saturday.
The home side started things off with confidence taking an 11-5 lead in the opener. Later on in the set Nimir served three aces in a row to make things 20-10 for the Dutch. His team dominated the first set and quickly clinched it, 25-15. The second set was a hard-fought affair before Portugal managed to break away to take a 19-15 lead. Setter Miguel Tavares Rodrigues distributed the ball with finesse leading his team to a 25-21 win.
There was no separating the two teams in the third set with Dick Kooy and Marco Ferreira trading powerful spikes. Tensions were running high at the end, but the visitors managed to close out the set 25-23 and take a lead in the match. With the atmosphere tense both teams were neck to neck in the fourth set. At 15-14 an ace from Klapwijk followed by a kill block from van Bemmelen and Abdelaziz gave the home side a three-point advantage. With the unstoppable attack from Kooy and Diefenbach the Dutch were able to take the fourth set, 25-21.
The tie-breaker saw both teams level until, at 11-10, the visitors won three points in a row thanks to a great performance in defence and Alexandre Ferreira's block on Niels Klapwijk. Filip Cveticanin scored through the middle to finish the thrilling match and give Portugal their first win in this year's World League.
To see the match gallery, read the full match live commentary and post-match comments, visit the match page.