Baku, June 20, AZERTAC
Azerbaijan joined four other women's Volleyball teams in qualifying for the quarter-finals after a hard-fought 3-2 win over Belgium on Friday night.
After the host side had taken the first set 25-21, Belgium struck back in second, winning 25-22. Azerbaijan hit back to win the third set 25-20, but the Yellow Dragons of Belgium won a manic fourth set 25-21.
Belgium were always on the back foot in the fifth set and a superb double block won the match for 15-6 Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan captain Odina Bayramova said: "We are really very tired, both physically and morally. We are on our feet the whole day and I really want to sleep. We spent a lot of our energy in the game with Poland (on Wednesday), however these excuses are unacceptable. We should have won much earlier in this game.
"I am not satisfied with the game. We should beat Turkey 3-0 ( in their final pool match on Sunday), at worst 3-1. I don't think they are the best in the group."
Earlier in the day, Turkey secured their quarter-final spot by sweeping struggling Romania, who were eliminated, and Croatia grabbed their first win by defeating Bulgaria. The Netherlands won in five sets against top-of-the-pool Serbia and both secured their spots in the next round. Poland cruised past Italy to add their name to the quarter-final contenders.
In the late night match, Germany went a set up against Russia before losing 3-2.