Russia defeat Finland in European Men's Olympic Qualification Tournament opener
Maxim Mikhailov, Russia’s top scorer with 15 points, said: “We did not know what to expect since Finland have come here with many players who were not on their roster at the European Championship last October. I wouldn’t call it an easy win even though the match finished in three sets. The best teams in the world are competing here, so we had a difficult match today and it is going to continue in the same way also for the remainder of the tournament.”
Team Finland’s captain Antti Siltala said: “You can’t be happy after losing a match in three sets. Halfway through each set, exactly where we should have stepped up our efforts, we somehow let it go. Of course Russia are a very strong opponent and they performed well in every fundamental. We now have to focus on tomorrow, this is going to be a very important match for us.”
Two matches will take place in Pool A later today. Belgium play Germany at 18.00 local time and Serbia meet world champions Poland at 20.30.
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