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The Netherlands' coach thinks chance for finals is gone


Finns Mikko Oivanen and Kosti Shumov (14) going hungry for the ball.

Tampere, Finland, July 6, 2013. – The Netherlands had a strong campaign in Pool C, but seems to be losing the chance for the final eight spots at the FIVB World League finals, after leading the pool for long.

“We had out chance today, or this weekend, and we lost it,” said the Netherlands’ coach Edwin Benne. “I don’t think the luck is coming back to us again.”

The Dutch have 22 points, but Benne does not think it is enough.

“If Canada takes one point in Japan tomorrow we would be equal (at 22 points), but their set ratio is far better,” he said. “And I think that Canada will win, because they showed yesterday they are able to do it.”

Canada beat Japan 3-1 in the first of two matches.

Benne was however satisfied with how the current team performed.

“We had only ups during a long campaign until today,” Benne said. “I think we can forget losing out on the finals pretty fast. We are very proud of what we did, to score 50 percent against Finland, Canada and Portugal, and doing it 100 percent against good Asian teams. I really did not expect that, and I am happy, except that we lost today.”

After five consecutive losses, Finland’s coach Tuomas Sammelvuo was relieved.

“The victory was very important mentally,” Sammelvuo said. “I’m proud and happy for my players because it was not easy for them after a mentally huge punch in the face yesterday. This was the first game where the whole team played well and kept its good level. Today’s win can be of great importance for the future.” 

“We had a bigger goal going into this tournament, but we did not make it,” Finland captain Antti Siltala said. “I’m really happy, as we took one more step closer to our good level. The first was yesterday. Now we can make our holiday with a better feeling.”

His Dutch counterpart Rob Bontje was happy for the Finnish players.

“Their level of play was amazing,” Bontje said. “I knew they were very upset the day before, you could see it in their faces in the hotel. They were probably to come out harder. Their serving was tremendous, we have not had this many problems against the good teams from Canada and Portugal. And our own level of serve was not good enough.”


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