Spain claim the bronze medal of European Golden League after beating Czech Republic in a thrilling tie-breaker. Spain came from 1-2 behind to take the control over final set of the match and finish the competition in the third spot.
Bronze Medal Match
Spain vs Czech Republic 3-2 (28-26, 10-25, 23-25, 25-16, 15-10)
The game began with a close play between both teams, but Spain seemed to be able to go one step ahead of Czech Republic. The Spanish team put pressure on their opponent with a serve, which allowed them to gain a small lead. Czech Republic caught up at 16-16 and soon they went 18-20 ahead after a single block by Pavlina Simanova. Spain kept close, trailing 22-23 and 24-25 behind, but managed to turn the score around in their favour at 27-26. The Spanish side claimed the set with a double block at 28-26.
Czech Republic responded right away, going 4-8 ahead in the second set. Spain couldn’t find the answer to Czech Republic’s new force as they team doubled the point gap to 8-16. The winning side scored another five points at 9-21 and they maintained the significant lead until they won the set levelled their score against Spain.
The third set became more competitive, with both teams keeping each other at bay. Czech Republic managed to get a lead at 14-17, but Spain quickly decreased the gap to just 19-20. Similarly to the first set, Spain and Czech Republic fought hard at the end of the set with the Spanish side defending Czech Republic’s first set point, but the Czechs used their second chance and won the set at 23-25.
Aware of their last chance to extend the match, Spain pushed Czech Republic after the latter created a small lead at the start of this set. Spain tied the score and soon went 17-12 ahead after a single block by one of the team’s leading scorers, Ana Escamilla. Czech Republic found no answer to Spain’s performance and the bronze medal match found its finale in the tie-break, as Spain secured the fourth set 25-16.
The last set was as intense as any tie-break is expected to be, with Spain controlling the game as they took 8-4 lead. Czech Republic fought back to get to 9-7, but Spain went on a scoring run. Carlota Garcia stopped Veronika Trnkova on a single block, making it 12-7 for Spain and forcing Czech Republic into a tight corner. The match point for Spain came at 14-8, but Czech Republic scored two more points before an error on their side confirmed bronze medal for the Spanish side.
“It was a very strange game. Too many ups and downs. The third place in the European Golden League is a great achievement for our team. This is the result of 6 years of work. The Final Four confirmed we are going the right way. Now we are expecting the EuroVolley 2021. It will be very difficult. We are Spain and we will go there to win every game.”Pascual Suarin
Coach of Spain
- Raquel Montoro became the top scorer with 24 points, with Ana Escamilla trailing behind with 23 points.
- Ana Escamilla led in serve and block, scoring 3 aces and 5 blocks for her team.
- On the other side of the net Eva Hodanova and Veronika Trnkova led in blocking with 3 points each.
- Veronika Trnkova led the scoring board for Czech Republic with 14 points, while Andrea Kossanyiova, Eva Hodanova and Gabriela Orvosova scored 13 points each.
- Czech Republic led initially in block, but Spain caught up as both teams go head to head in this element with 13 and 12 points respectively.
“We are not happy at all. We controlled the game until 9-7 in the fourth part. Then we lost our power. Congratulations to Spain. Their team fought very hard and deserved to win. We need to learn from our mistakes today, to resolve our weaknesses, and to become better. The organisation of the tournament was excellent. Congrats to the Bulgarian federation.”Giannis Athanasopoulos
Coach of Czech Republic