Finland, Canada win on opening day of FIVB World League
Finland and Portugal were in action first, and the Finns delighted their home fans with a solid 3-0 (25-13, 29-27, 25-18) victory in Helsinki.
Canada also scored a home victory but had a much tougher match as they overcame the Netherlands 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 27-25, 27-25) in Quebec in another Pool C match.
The Helsinki game saw a World League debut as coach for Tuomas Sammelvuo, 37, who retired as a player last summer. Sammelvuo played 294 national games for his country.
"Our team was really confident, and we served great, which made the game easier for us," said Sammelvuo.
Portugal’s Valdir Sequeira topped the scoring in the match with 15 points. The top scorer for Finland was Mikko Oivanen with 12 points.
The top scorer in the Canada-Netherlands match was also on the losing side, Wytze Kooistra racking up 28 points for the Dutch. Canada’s top scorer was Gavin Schmitt with 23 points.
The same teams will meet again on Saturday, while Japan will face Korea in the Korean city of Hwasung.