Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, June 9, 2017 – Wouter Ter Maat
was the biggest point contributor to the Netherlands’ 3-1 (22-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-18) victory over Portugal on day 1 of the FIVB Volleyball World League tournament in Ceske Budejovice.
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This was the eighth victory for the Dutch in their 13 matches against Portugal in the history of the World League.
Although the Netherlands were the pre-favourites to win this match, in the first set Portugal surprised everyone with good play, solid defence and dedicated game. At the end of first set there was also more luck on their side and they managed to win by 25-22.
In the second set, the team of the Netherlands started better, with determination to turn things around. Portugal did not want to give it up easily and they were even in the lead for a moment. In a dramatic ending of the second set Portugal made some unforced errors and the chance of winning the set was lost – 25-22 in favour of the Dutch.
The third set also brought a tight and levelled game and again it was the same story. Portugal managed to the lead, but were not able to keep it. The Netherlands, on the other hand, showed more experience in the difficult moments and won the third set by a narrow 25-23.
The fourth set was entirely in the hands of the Netherlands. They were more concentrated in reception and side-out and did not offer Portugal any chances like they did in the previous sets. The fourth set ended at 25-18, the biggest difference so far in the match.