Finland’s pilots are superior in the World Cup qualification – tiny Northern Ireland was left behind
Finland’s volleyball players took their second victory in style in the World Cup qualifying tournament in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. Little Northern Ireland fell short straight away 3-0 (25-8, 25-8, 25-9).
On Wednesday Cyprus persevered for the opening set on the way to Finland . Northern Ireland, on the other hand, did not get more than ten points against Finland in a single set.
– Today was a bit like this opponent. It was known that if you play even close to your own level, this will be an easy game. Well, we got to our own level – and it became an easy game, said the national team’s second libero Eetu Pennanen, who played in the match, to Yle Urheilu.
– You can almost say that the tournament doesn’t start for us until tomorrow. The level is clearly tougher then – we have to be ready right away, Mikko Esko, who played in the national team after the break, anticipates the next match against Sweden.
Finland honored “Manu”
Finland experienced one setback in the match, when central defender Markus Kaurto injured his ankle. Kaurto’s leg, representing Etta, was treated with ice packs on the side of the field.
– The ankle went, a disappointed Kaurto acknowledged after the match briefly while walking to the locker room.
In the match in Helsinki, the Finnish team honored the President of the Republic, Mauno Koivisto, who was laid to rest on Maundy Thursday. The number 1 was painted on the arms of the Finnish players in memory of Koivisto, known as a passionate volleyball player.
In addition to Finland and Northern Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Cyprus and the Czech Republic, which is hosting a small tournament, will play in the qualifying group F2. All countries meet each other within five days – the best gets a place in the 2018 World Cup tournament and the second best advances to the further qualification.