Germany started the match better, picking up three of the first four points, and maintaining the lead throughout the entire set. At the second technical time-out, it was (16-12) to the visiting team. The Serbians pushed hard to try to get closer, but they were too nervous to seriously threaten the determined German side. In the end, it was a well-deserved (25-20) win for Germany.
The second set was much more balanced from the start. At the first technical time-out, Germany was up by a point (8-7). However, after the break, Germany once again escaped to a 3-point lead (12-9), forcing coach Igor Kolakovic to ask for a time-out. Serbia could not quite manage to find the right rhythm. Coach Kolakovic tried by substituting Nikola Jovovic and Marko Ivovic, which resulted in two consecutive points for (13-11). This time Germany called for a time-out, and managed to stabilize their game before the second technical break (16-13). Once again, a steady three point lead proved to be decisive for the German side, who wrapped up the second set at (25-21) to take the second set.
In the third set, Serbia finally woke up and got an early (4-1) lead. However, Germany slowly but surely started narrowing the gap, which resulted in a tie at 10. At the second technical break, the home side led (16-14). Serbian youngsters did well in this set, maintaining the lead, with the third set ending at (25-21) in Serbia’s favor.
Germany was back in front in the fourth set. At the first technical break it was (8-5) for the visitors. Serbia tried to fight back, reaching within one point of the lead a couple of times, but could not quite turn over the score. Germany firmly kept the lead and pushed back the Serbs through the second technical time-out (16-14). After the break, the hosts could not find any more ways to match the inspired German team, who finished it off at (25-21) to take a surprising victory on the road.
Milos Nikic, receiver on the Serbian team: “Germany surprised us, they played the way we were supposed to play in the first match. We have to react, and I think we will because we can hardly do any worse than today. I expect a victory.“
Denys Kaliberda, receiver in the German team: “We played really consistent in the first match, and I am pretty happy with our performance. We were really good. Tomorrow I expect a much more difficult match.“
Serbia and Germany will play their second match of the weekend on Sunday, June 30, at 20:00 CET in “Pionir” Hall of Sports in Belgrade.
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