Netherlands through to face Portugal; Iran and Egypt now face off for the right to challenge Japan
The two wins confirm the Netherlands’ place in the second round of the World League 2013 qualification process where they will face Portugal. By the terms of the qualification process, because the Dutch come from the same continent as one of the two bottom-ranked 2012 World League sides, those two automatically play each other for a spot in the 2013 competition.
The next phase, Playoff 2 Round 1, will take place in Cairo, Egypt August 31 and September 2. The Egyptians will play two games against Iran. The winner will challenge Japan, who like Portugal finished in the bottom two of World League 2012.
The Netherlands actually only needed to win one set of their second game with Dominican Republic to advance, having won the first game in straight sets. But Dutch coach Edwin Benne said he wanted his side to win the second match outright, and not let up. They duly obliged despite being pushed to 16-14 in the fifth.
“We need to play better in the coming weeks,” said Benne. “It is obvious we met a good opponent this weekend and we made some steps forward, though we had to push it to the maximum each set. I am very satisfied with the result.”
Netherlands captain Rob Bontje applauded his opponents’ efforts. “We got what we came for, but played two heavy matches,” he said. “My compliments to the Dominican Republic, who gave us a good contest.”