Euro 2021: big disappointment for the Blues eliminated in the round of 16

The French volleyball players, crowned Olympic champions in Tokyo a month ago, were eliminated from Euro-2021 in the round of 16, beaten by the Czech Republic 3 sets to 0 (25-22, 25-19, 34- 32), Monday evening in Ostrava.

This is a huge disappointment for Benjamin Toniutti’s teammates, who were aiming for the last four of this European Championship and who were unbeaten in five matches after the first round.

The band in Earvin Ngapeth thus knows the same disillusionment as in 2017, when they had been released by the same Czech Republic, in Katowice in Poland, at the same stage of the competition just before the quarter-finals of the European Championship.

The first major championship of the new coach Bernardinho ends prematurely, even if the Brazilian was aware that the sequence of more than thirty matches in the space of sixteen weeks would be complicated for the Blues, especially after the coronation Olympic.

In a cauldron of 4,000 selectors

One of the central of the France team Nicolas Le Goff had warned on the eve of this round of 16: it was necessary to prevent the Czechs gain confidence with the support of the public of the Ostravar Arena and its 4,000 spectators. And the Blues fell into the trap, put under pressure from the start by the service of Jan Galabov and the Czech block. Led 18-11, the Olympic champions returned to contact but went too far to avoid losing the first set, on a blocked attack from Jean Patry.

The start of the second set was more rigorous, but the French continued to suffer the physical power of their opponents, in particular that of the sharp left-hander Jan Hadrava. And the beginning of the wind of revolt observed in the middle of the first set was ultimately only a passing breeze.

Earvin Ngapeth began to give voice to a counter from Barthélémy Chinenyeze at the start of the third set, but even when the Blues seemed to have taken the measure of their opponent (11-8), they let the Czechs return to the match. They failed to convert both set points (24-22) and had to surrender without winning any set after saving seven match points.

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