The Dutch volleyball players have to face Germany in the eighth finals of the European Championship. The team of national coach Roberto Piazza is competing on Saturday in Apeldoorn for a place among the last eight.
The Orange squad already played its last group game on Wednesday and had already qualified for the eighth finals, but the opponent in the last sixteen was not yet known. Before that, the European champion of 1997 was dependent on the result of the game between Poland and Ukraine, which was played on Thursday.
Poland was too strong for Ukraine in that 3-0 encounter. With this, the Netherlands finished second with ten points from five games, behind Poland (fifteen points) and before Ukraine (nine points).
The formation of Piazza closed the group stage of the European Championship in its own country on Wednesday with a 2-3 loss against the Czech Republic, which placed itself as fourth team in group D for the eighth finals. The home country left a match point unused in the deciding set.
Earlier, the Orange squad won against Estonia (3-1), Montenegro (3-0) and Ukraine (3-0). A defenseless defeat (0-3) was suffered against world champion Poland. Germany reached the eighth finals in number B in group B.
The Orange comes further than at the previous EC
With the place in the eighth finals, the Netherlands 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.