Kaliningrad, June 18 - Russia is determined to complete their clear run in their 2010 FIVB World League domestic campaign when they meet Finland in the second game of the week-end on Saturday at Amber Arena in Kaliningrad.
The Russians who remain unbeaten after five games and lead the Group C with 14 points, will play their last home match this season. In front of their fans they won back-to-back matches against the USA, Egypt and outclassed Finland in the first game of the weekend. Russian Head coach Daniele Bagnoli wants his players to collect maximum points before going to a long journey with the stops in the North Europe, Africa and North America.
The Russians have lost only one point so far. The previous week underdog Egypt unexpectedly challenged the favorite in a five-set match. “We can’t afford to lose points if we want to go to the Final Round”, Bagnoli said. There was a positive side in this disappointment. “We got really angry with ourselves and worked hard all week", said Russian captain Alexey Kazakov.
Russia came out strong on Friday never giving a chance to the opponent who played without three important players -- setter Mikko Esko, opposite hitter Mikko Oivanen and center blocker Konstantin Shumov.
“All we can do in this situation is to play for every point and see what will happen,” said Finland's head coach Mauro Berruto whose team stays in the third place of the Group C with 4 points. The current place will satisfy the Finnish team if they keep it by the end of the Intercontinental Round. Unlike the Russians their goal is to stay in the World League for the next season.