Baku, January 10, AZERTAC
At the end of a truly exciting ride and after enjoying the right share of drama on the last and final night of action, we know the names of the 24 teams that will participate in the truly history-making EuroVolley 2019 Men! These include the four host countries (France, Slovenia, Belgium and the Netherlands), another eight teams as per the final standing of the 2017 edition and 12 that have booked their tickets through an exciting six-leg qualification round. Belarus, Portugal, Spain, Finland, Montenegro, Austria and the Former Y.R. of Macedonia were the seven teams to claim the last remaining seven tickets still at stake.
On Wednesday, Portugal and Belarus emerged as the eventual Pool D and E winners, following their away victories over Albania and Norway, as the five best runners-up across all pools qualified as well.
It took a bit of time to do the maths, as there were two pools of three teams only and another four featuring four teams each. Therefore, in the pools of four, the results of the matches played with the team finishing last in the group did not count towards identifying the best runners-up. These are Spain, Finland, Montenegro, Austria and the Former Y.R. of Macedonia.
Spain beat Georgia 3-0 on Wednesday but Norway’s loss later in the evening propelled Belarus to the top of Pool E. Still, Spain emerged as the best runners-up across all pools, followed by Finland and Montenegro, whose home victory over Moldova (3-0) contributed to a historic moment for the Balkan country, as they will make their first appearance at EuroVolley since Montenegro’s declaration of independence in 2006.
The same applies to the Former Y.R. of Macedonia, as Nikola Gjorgiev & Co. beat Hungary 3-0 in Skopje to secure their country’s first-ever participation in EuroVolley. Austria will return to Europe’s most prestigious stage for the first time since they co-hosted the 2011 edition together with the Czech Republic. They achieved this feat after recording a much-needed 3-1 away victory over Croatia.
The 24 teams will be fighting for Europe’s most coveted crown from September 12 to 29 in what will be a history-making event for fans, players and everyone involved, with the eventual winners crowned at the iconic AccorHotels Arena in Paris.
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