Bologna, Italy, September 23, 2018 - Australia stunned Slovenia in their last match at the FIVB Men’s World Championship 2018, claiming a 3-2 victory, showing that they are able to emerge victorious in a game of nerves and with a constant exchange in the lead.
Mark Lebedew, head coach of Australia: “Of course, I am really happy with the win and for my guys. We had a really long international season; we worked together really well from the first day to the last one. Winning this match is a reward for the job done by the team and because of this, I am happy. Right now, it is difficult to make a general evaluation of our performance during the World Championship, but I think that for us this competition was a really big step – we had a good VNL season, a good Championship here, we competed for real. There is no team we had not a chance to compete with. Of course, there are better teams, but we showed that we can play volleyball that people like to watch.”
Lincoln Williams, player of Australia: “We fought hard in every match, doesn’t matter who we played against. Today was another opportunity for us to win. I felt that we were strong as a team, even though we lost the first and the third set. I felt great here – our reserve players did a fantastic job, as they made the fans in the sports hall start supporting us. Our performance in this World Championship was satisfactory for us. We can be better and in the future, we will definitely be better. This was a good step, a good level to keep going forward.”
Slobodan Kovac, head coach of Slovenia: “I think that Slovenia have had an opportunity to achieve something historic in our group. We started good in this World Championship, but we lost our hopes when we lost from Brazil and today it was difficult to play. We were not motivated. I am sorry that we could not find our best game. My Slovenia was dead and it seemed that we were just waiting to go home, people in the sports hall noticed that and started cheering for Australia.”
Mitja Gasparini, player of Slovenia: “Losing yesterday from Brazil affected us today. This loss was not supposed to happen, as we believed that we could make it among the top six teams. Because of this, today we played emotionally and we paid the price for this. We lacked aggressiveness in some of the moments, but in general, we showed that we could play on a high level. This cycle has not come to an end for us – we have a young team and I think our next aim should be the Olympic Games in 2020.”