FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Drama and excitment aplenty in World League playoffs


The Netherlands celebrate their return to the World League for the first time since 2010 and for the 17th time since the first edition in 1990

Lausanne, Switzerland, September 3, 2012 – It was another outstanding weekend of World League 2013 qualification action with plenty of cheers and tears shed as the Netherlands beat Portugal in two five-set thrillers to book a spot in next year’s edition of the premier annual men’s tournament while Iran were convincing winners against Egypt to advance to a play-off with Japan for the second World League vacancy.

It’s been a wonderful serious so far and the Netherlands, who had beaten the Dominican Republic in round one, and Portugal further emphasised it when they took both their matches in round two to five sets. After the Netherlands won the first match 3-2 (26-24, 25-23, 24-26, 22-25, 20-18), Portugal effectively only need to win the second match to save their spot in the World League due to the close nature of the points difference in game one. And at 2-1 (25-20, 23-25, 25-17) up, things were looking good for last year’s 16th-placed team. However, the Netherlands, with Humphrey Krolis to the fore, went on to prove they have what it takes to play at this level, claiming the last two sets in amazing style to run out winners: 3-2 (20-25, 25-23, 17-25, 25-21, 15-13).

Full match reports click here

Prior to the playoff, it was hard to pick who would win it. Playing at home and looking to build on their storied history in international volleyball, the Dutch, ranked 41st in the world, were hoping to return to the World League for the first time since 2010 and for the 17th time out 23 editions. Meanwhile, Portugal, ranked 38th in the world, were out to defend their World League spot which they had held over the past two years. Their 16th place finish in 2012 meant they had to enter the playoff system and would have fancied their chances considering they beat the Netherlands 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-18) in 2010 in pool play of the 2011 European Championships. However, at FIVB level, Portugal, who had played a total of nine times in the FIVB World League, had yet to take a set from the Netherlands and although they definitely broke that duck, they were beaten in end probably by the Dutch crowd, it was that close.
Meanwhile, Iran were also celebrating after overcoming the tough assignment of beating Egypt in Cairo. Like the Netherlands and Portugal, it was the first time either team had played on home soil however that didn’t seem to favour Egypt as Iran won the two-match playoff in impressive style.

After winning the first match 3-0 (33-31, 25-22, 25-19), Iran just needed to win one set in the second game and did that in quick fashion as they went on to win 3-1 (25-12, 28-30, 25-17, 25-22). It continues an impressive run by Iran against Egypt, as the world No 14 has now beaten the world No 13 four times in five games (as well as the last three encounters), including last year’s World Cup and the 2009 Grand Champions Cup.

Shahram Mahmoudi was the star for Iran leading all scorers across both matches with 17 and 19 points respectively. It bodes well for Julio Velasco’s men who must now play Japan, who finished 15th in the 2012 World League, in Tehran in a weeks’ time to see who will finalise the final vacancy for next edition.

 


Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

   
10.09.2012 10:59:14
Iran and the Netherlands confirmed as new teams in 2013 World League
Lausanne, Switzerland, September 10, 2012 – Both of the bottom two teams from the 2012 World League, Japan and Portugal, lost their places in the 2013... More...
10.09.2012 00:05:22
It's one of the best days of my life: Iran captain
Tehran, Iran, September 9, 2012 - Iran captain called his team's World-League-qualifying victory over Japan one of the best days of his life at a post... More...
09.09.2012 16:52:02
Iran beat Japan to secure historic World League spot
Tehran, Iran, September 9, 2012 – World No. 14 Iran secured an historic spot in the 2013 FIVB World League after defeating Japan 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25... More...
08.09.2012 09:52:49
Players' spirit was main reason for our win - Velasco
Tehran, Iran, September 7, 2012 - Iran coach Julio Velasco praises the spirit of his players after his side beat Japan in straight sets in the first o... More...
07.09.2012 18:56:53
Iran beat Japan in opening World League 2013 qualifier
Tehran, Iran, September 7, 2012 - Favourites Iran convincingly won the opening World League 2013 qualification encounter against Japan 3-0 (25-19, 25-... More...
06.09.2012 23:21:27
Iran v Japan World League qualifier promises to enthrall
Lausanne, Switzerland, September 6, 2012 – The final step in the qualifying process for the FIVB World League 2013 begins on Friday when Iran, ranked ... More...
06.09.2012 00:35:54
Iran prepares for World League qualifier against Japan
Tehran, Iran, September 6, 2012 – The Iran Volleyball Federation will host the second round of the 2013 FIVB World League qualification tournament thi... More...
02.09.2012 22:07:08
Iran beat Egypt to book encounter with Japan in WL 2013 playoffs
Cairo, Egypt, September 2, 2012 - World number 14 Iran beat Egypt, ranked 13th in the world, 3-1 (25-12, 28-30, 25-17, 25-22) on Sunday to record seco... More...
02.09.2012 16:13:49
We can learn a lot from Portugal - Benne
Rotterdam, the Netherlands, September 2, 2012 – Following Sunday's impressive 3-2 (20-25, 25-23, 17-25, 25-21, 15-13) win over Portugal to seal a spot... More...
02.09.2012 15:33:10
Netherlands replace Portugal in World League after two superb five-setters
Rotterdam, the Netherlands, September 2, 2012 – World No. 41 the Netherlands beat Portugal, ranked 38th in the world, in the second match of their Wor... More...