The second match of the day was full of heart-stopping action and first-class Volleyball. The high-spirited and enthusiastic crowd that packed the Amiral Orhan Aydin Sports hall in Marmaris gave wings to a Turkish side that tried throughout the match to impose its home-ground advantage. In fact, the attacks by Burutay Subasi and the daring defensive efforts of the local team proved to be so prominent and effective that Turkey could go from suffering a clear defeat in the first period to bashing its rivals in the second set, and from falling against the visiting team’s weapons in the third set to prevail over Croatia in the fourth period.
This carrousel of ups and downs that marked the development of the game had only one possible outcome: the tie-break. Despite the locals’ efforts, the solid spikes and disciplined offense by the visiting team ultimately constituted the successful combination that carried the Croatians to the final match. The spikes by Ivan Raic gave the visiting team the edge that Croatia needed to stop the emotional actions from the other side of the net. In the exciting and equaled tie-breaker, Raic signed three of the five last points of his team, including the decisive and killing spike that put the closing 12-15 in the scoreboard.
“It was a very emotional game; both teams showed their moments, for us it was the first and third set and for Turkey, the second and fourth periods but at the end, we had to decide it in the tie-break. Now that we reached the final, we want a little more. It is not possible for us to make mistakes at this point, as now that we are here, we just want to win”, said the head coach of Croatia, Igor Simuncic.
“I cannot explain how happy I am for my team; Turkey fought very well but I am happy because at the end we were the winners”, pointed out the team captain of Croatia, Tsimafei Zhukouski.
Turkey had lost the previous four matches against Croatia in Pool C but in the second semifinal the story was different and close to be rewritten. The defeat in the tie-break has kept the Turkish men from participating in the final match as they did last year.
“The problem was our serve, it was not good enough. Also we were unable to keep our level from the first to the last set”, commented the head coach of Turkey, Veljko Basic.
The captain of Turkey, Ulas Kiyak agreed with the inconsistency of his team. “In some moments of the match, we played at good level but we did not keep it throughout the game, that is our problem. Maybe we are not strong enough psychologically or physically but that’s why we have lost in the tie-break” Kiyak said.
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