Bydgoszcz, Poland, July 13, 2009 – In their final act of the 2009 FIVB World League Intercontinental Round, Poland will meet Finland on Wednesday and Thursday.
"Four wins in four matches, that is our goal," said Polish coach Daniel Castellani before his squad began the series against the Finns. But in Tampere the Poles were brought down on earth brutally. They won only one set and won't have any good memories from the trip.
The fourth-place team in the last European Championships confirmed that nothing had happened by accident a week earlier, when they beat Brazil. Young Polish team had no answer to the inspired play of Finnish setter Mikko Esko and his opposite Mikko Oivanen, who scored 26 points from two matches in Tampere.
"We cannot play much better," Esko said. "We made few mistakes. I am really looking forward to the two matches in Poland."
The atmosphere in Bydgoszcz should be amazing, as is always the case during Poland home matches.
Despite two painful losses in Tampere, the Poles still have a mathematical chance to take second place in Pool D and can surely count on the help of their enthusiastic fans. After week five of this year's competition, Poland is six points behind Finland.
"To beat them, we'll have to fight hard for every single point," Castellani said. "They won't give us any presents. We'll have to snatch the victory from them. It won't be possible if we don't improve our game. Our main problem is that we still make too many simple mistakes," added the Argentinean.
Will Poland take revenge on Finland and overtake their rivals in the table? We'll know the answer soon. The teams will meet for the last two times on Wednesday and Thursday in the Luczniczka hall in Bydgoszcz. Both matches begin at 20:00 CET.