Florence, Italy, September 16, 2018 – On Sunday afternoon, Belgium defeated Japan 3-1, this way virtually securing their spot in the next round of the competition.
Andrea Anastasi, Belgium head coach: “It is a very important victory because it opens the door to Bologna, and that was our goal. We had a very complicated series of matches, whilst tomorrow the last one versus the Dominican Republic should be quite affordable. My players started this match very nervous after yesterday’s intense game with Slovenia, but once they relaxed, they delivered a good team performance.”
Sam Deroo, captain of Belgium: “After yesterday’s tough game, at the beginning we did not find the energy to answer to Japan’s great service in the first set. After that, we found a way to react and showed great fighting spirit. We played two long and tough matches in two days, physically very intense, and it was important to take these three points.”
Yuichi Nakagaichi, Japan head coach: “We played an excellent first set with great service, then the team went down and we did not have enough stamina.”
Masahiro Yanagida, captain of Japan: “After the first set it seemed to be an easy game for us, but later Belgium improved while the quality of our performance went down. The day after tomorrow we have to win versus Argentina.”