Seoul, Korea, June 4, 2017 – Joo-Hyeong Park
led Korea with 24 points as they edged Finland 3-2 (24-26, 25-21, 25-23, 22-25, 15-13) in a thrilling World League encounter at Jangchung Arena in Seoul on Sunday.
Korea finished their home fixtures with a 2-1 record, second behind unbeaten Slovenia. Jan Helenius
was Finland’s top scorer with 20 points.
Finland had the edge in serving (6-3), blocking (12-7) and reception (43-38), but the key stat for the Koreans was their inspired defending, out-digging their opponents 22-8. A key dig by Kang-Won Lee
, who had 17 points on the day, helped set up Hong-Suk Choi
for the winning shot in the second set.
Finland made all the going in the tiebreaker and were 11-9 up only to see Korea level at 11. A disastrous mis-set by Eemi Tervaportti
handed match point to the Koreans and the Finns then failed to return Lee’s serve, so ending the match.
It was Korea’s first win over Finland in the World League since 1993 when they beat the Finns three times. Since then, they have lost eight straight, but their last match also went to five sets with Korea losing the tiebreaker 19-17.
It’s the third time in four years that Finland have lost their opening three matches in the World League, while Korea have now won five of their last six World League matches.