Belgium & Estonia to fight for one World Championship ticket


Belgium celebrate win over Germany which brings them to within two sets of a 2018 World Championship ticket.

Lausanne, Switzerland, July 22, 2017 - Belgium and Estonia clash Sunday evening in Kortrijk for one last remaining European ticket to the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship, after both scored wins Saturday, the penultimate day of European qualifiers Round 3.

Hosts Belgium demolished 2014 World Championship bronze medallists Germany 3-0 (25-16, 26-15, 25-17) Saturday night before 1,700 fans to remain undefeated after four matches in the six-team single round-robin pool.

However, they still need at least two sets against Estonia Sunday evening at 20:40 local time (18:40 GMT) to make the World Championship which will be jointly hosted by Italy and Bulgaria next year.

Estonia can qualify with any win for full points. The Baltic side rebounded after Friday's loss to Germany with an emphatic 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-20) win over Slovakia on Saturday.

Another six European teams advanced last month to the World Championship which will be jointly hosted by Italy and Bulgaria next year.

Bram van den Dries on 19 points and Sam Deroo on 13 were the driving force of Belgium, who destroyed Germany on the net with 16 stuffs to 5 and 51% (34/67) to just 36% (29/80) in attacking efficiency.

Earlier, Robert Taht with 17 points and Oliver Venno with 15 had led Estonia in their win over Slovakia.

Estonia's Robert Taht in receiving duties Saturday in Kortrijk.

Spain edged Belarus 3-2 (20-25, 25-18, 2-25, 25-22, 15-13) in the other match of the day in Kortrijk, despite 18 blocks by the losers - ten from Siarhei Busel alone. Juan Manuel Gonzalez was top scorer of the game with 21 points for Spain. Both teams were already out of contention.

Full reports, statistics and pictures on the European Volleyball Confederation website.

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Italy and Bulgaria as hosts and Poland as defending champions have qualified directly to the World Championship. They have been joined by France, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Russia, Serbia and Finland who advanced through Round 2 of the European qualifers last month, plus Japan and Australia who qualified last week through Pool B of the Asian qualifiers.

Another 13 places remain up for grabs, with the next scheduled qualifying event being the South American Championship, 5-12 August in Santiago, which gives one ticket to Italy/Bulgaria.


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