Finns delighted with opening World League performance
"Our team was really confident, and we served great, which made the game easier for us," said coach Tuomas Sammelvuo. "We now have to improve in the three-man blocking, be more aggressive, look at the blocks out and some sets of free balls. Simple things that might make the difference. A pleasant start for me as head coach meeting (Portugal coach) Flavio (Gulinelli). During my playing career he was my coach, and we have kept contact since."
Finland captain Antti Siltala acknowledged the role of serving in their excellent performance. "Our serving was better than ever, and the first set was amazing," he said. "In the second set they started to serve better and caused big problems for us. But we kept fighting, and to keep our level we must do so in every game, every day. I am happy with our performance, it was a great game for us."
Portugal coach Flavio Gulinelli shared the admiration of his opponent's play. "Finland’s first set was amazing," he said. "We were weak not only technically and tactically, but also mentally. We were too fragile. Then it is hard to play. But we solved some tactical problems after the first set. Finland played better, a more balanced game and served well."
Portugal captain Joao José agree. "Finland played very consistently and well tactically," he said. "We were able to solve problems in the second set, but our intensity was not high enough. We tried to change the rhythm of the game but Finland was better than us at that also. Unfortunately our intensity went down in the third set."
The two teams meet again at 16:30 GMT on Saturday June 1, in the same venue.