Poland outduel Germany for ticket to finals


Poland will play Brazil for the gold medal of the 2014 FIVB Men's World Championship

Katowice, Poland, September 20, 2014 – Home crowd favourites Poland outplayed a high-spirited Germany 3-1 (26-24, 28-26, 23-25, 25-21) to gain the promotion to their second gold medal match in the history of the FIVB Men’s World Championship.

The fourth world-ranked Poland will challenge three-time defending champions in the decisive contest on Sunday at Spodek Arena in Katowice.

Key points

•Poland had won their previous semi final match 3-1 against Bulgaria in 2006
•The home team improved to an 11-1 win-loss record for the tournament
•Poland have defeated Germany in their last four matches in world championships

Once again Mariusz Wlazly topped the Polish scorers with 22 points that included three aces and one block. Mateusz Mika added 17 of his own while Karol Klos contributed six blocks among his 14 points.

Germany’s Denys Kaliberda, Gyorgy Grozer and Christian Fromm finished with 18, 14 and 12 points respectively in the losing effort.

The second semi-final started with the enthusiasm of the white and red fans crowd gathered at Spodek Hall in Katowice, which put some pressure on Germany from the very beginning. Due to Mariusz Wlazly’s kill and Germany’s mistake, Poland gained a 2-0 lead, but staying focused, Vital Heynen’s players managed to jump 4-2 ahead and force Stephane Antiga to call timeout. After Michal Winiarski and Piotr Nowakowski’s efficient blocks, Poland started catching up at 5-4, but the good playing of Germany with György Grozer’s ace extended their margin to four points (8-4). Host team, mostly due to aggressive serves by Winiarski and Klos’s kill evened up at 10-10. Keeping the good passing, Germany led 16-14 at the second technical timeout and Marcus Böhme’s ace extended the gap to three points (18-15). However an efficient block by Mateusz Mika and Karol Klos followed by two kills and Winiarski’s service winner, helped Poland to jump 20-18 ahead. It was a very exciting ending, as the scoreboard showed 23-23 before finishing 26-24, when Michal Kubiak won the battle at the net. 

Starting the second set with a very balanced game, hosts Poland managed to build a two-point advantage (4-2), after a fine counter-attacks series and presenting aggressive serves. However, Germany were still just behind and with Dirk Westphal on the left wing, they tried to catch up, but they were Poland who led 8-5 at the first technical timeout. Max Günthör’s ace caused an even 8-8 score, but fine block displayed by Wlazly and Klos put Poland on the lead again (11-9). Winiarski with his effective left-wing spikes preceded by a great serve series by Nowakowski extended Poland’s advantage to six points (16-10). Germany couldn’t have found any answer for speeding-up hosts until Max Günthör came at the service line, as he managed to reduce Poland’s lead to two points (20-18), followed by Grozer, who caught up at 21-21 due to his serves. Another terrific set concluded 28-26 in favour of Poland after a fine block. 

Starting after the ten-minutes break, both teams opened the third set with a fierce that caused a balanced game once again. After Wlazly’s left-wing spike, Poland went 2-1 ahead. Adding Wlazly’s point-serves’ series and double block, Poland jumped into a two-point lead (6-4). With the good plays by their outside-hitterr and making a use of the opponent’s mistakes, Poland managed to increase their gap to five points (10-5). However, several Poland’s mistakes caused the advantage to narrow to jusy to one point (11-10) and a fine serve displayed by Denys Kaliberda made an even 11-11 score. As Germany still kept a pressure on Poland with their fine defence and hard spikes, the score was tight throughout the set. Both teams put all their efforts to fight for every ball so the ending of the third set was full of breath-taking emotions with Germany finally winning 25-23. 

As Gemany kept their focus from the previous set, they gained a 3-1 lead. After Westphal’s kill, they were still one point in front (4-3), but hosts Poland tried their best with building efficient blocks and finishing counter-attacks. Thanks to Denys Kaliberda serving error, the white-and-reds caught up at 6-6, but the game was continued on a point-by-point basis all the time. With Jochen Schöps point serve, Germany jumped 10-8 ahead, but efficient block displayed by Klos and Mika made a 10-10 even and an ace by Wlazly put hosts 13-10 ahead. However, Germany managed to take touch at 13-13 and forced Stephane Antiga to call timeout. Regaining the advance, Poland improved to a 21-18 difference after some amazing digs followed by efficient counter-attacks. Pumping up by twelve thousands spectators, Poland stayed focused and finished the fourth set 25-21, booking their ticket to the gold medal match.


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