Dutch volleyball players have lost their last match in the group stage of the European Championship in their own country on Wednesday. The team of coach Roberto Piazza lost 2-3 in a thriller against the Czech Republic.
The Orange lost in Amsterdam 18-25, 25-18, 20-25, 25-22, 14-16 to the Czech Republic, which is 30th on the world ranking. In the fifth set, the home country left a match point unused.
After both teams had drawn a set to themselves, the Orange seemed to be on its way to victory in the third company. However, the Czech Republic fought back from a 5-10 deficit and took a 2-1 lead in sets.
The global number fifteen restored the balance in the fourth set, after which the two countries turned it into a true thriller in the deciding set. On 14-13, the Netherlands lost the first match point, after which the Czechs struck a little later.
The Orange squad already secured a spot in the eighth finals on Tuesday thanks to a win over Estonia (3-1). Due to the defeat, the formation of Piazza ends in ten points in group D.
Previously it was won from Ukraine (3-0) and Montenegro (3-0) and lost to world champion Poland (0-3). Ukraine and Poland have also qualified for the last sixteen.
The Dutch volleyball players celebrate one of the points won against the Czech Republic. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Eighth final Orange in Apeldoorn or Antwerp
The Netherlands will play its eighth final next Saturday in Apeldoorn or Antwerp. It is still unknown who the opponent is. For that, the result of the match between Poland and Ukraine, which will play against each other on Thursday, must be awaited.
With the place in the eighth finals, the Orange comes anyway further than two years ago at the previous European Championship, when the team was eliminated in the group stage. In 1997 the Dutch volleyball players won their only European title and in 1993 and 1995 they lost the European final.
The European Championship is held in four countries. In addition to the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Slovenia are the other three host countries. The final will be held in Paris on September 29.