Belgrade, Serbia, June 3, 2011 – Finland picked up a memorable win over Serbia in Pool C of the 2011 FIVB Volleyball World League on Friday night with a tense 3-1 (25-27, 26-24, 25-20, 27-25) triumph in Belgrade.
It was Finland's first win in this year's tournament and a perfect rebound from the two defeats they were dealt by Portugal last weekend.
The first set started with an easy point-by-point game, spiced up with some good serving by both teams. The see-saw action continued until a number of good serves from Sasa Starovic and Milos Terzic helped the Serbian team clinch the opening set 27-25, despite a shaky end.
Serbia made some tactical changes at the beginning of the second set and they stormed into a quick lead, forcing Finland coach Daniel Castellani to take his first time out. Serbia held on to their lead for a while before Finland fought back to draw level and move ahead of the hosts, clinching another close set 26-24 and leveling the match score at 1-1.
The third set was close until Finland found their rhythm and went on a crucial three-point run. Serbia managed to pull back to within a point but Finland recovered well and were able to close out the set five points ahead.
In the fourth set, both teams dug in as they sought to hold off the other. Serbia drew even, but a number of good spikes saw Finland take a narrow lead. Both teams fought hard and played at an intense level before Finland finally broke through to seal a monumental win.