Poland is an unbeaten leader of Pool A, the hosts hope to win their last match in front of a home crowd in Kraków, as the competition will move to Gdańsk on Thursday. Ukraine after beating Belgium on Tuesday earned a spot in the eight finals along with Poland and Serbia, but they will try to challenge the reigning world champions in this encounter. Especially that leaders of both teams Oleh Plotnytskyi and Wilfredo Leon used to play together in the club - under guidance of Vital Heynen.
First RefereeSalvis KURTISSLATSecond RefereeBogdan Laurentiu STOICAROU
TAURON Arena Krakow has become a cultural, sports and business showcase of Krakow. It is the largest in Poland and one of the world’s most modern sport and entertainment venues. The venue consists of the Main Arena and the Small Hall. The possibility of any configuration of the audience, convenient facilities for athletes and performers, Europe’s largest LED screen installed on the façade, extensive multimedia and stage systems, as well as very good acoustic conditions of the facility, are the features that will meet the requirements for events of any scale and different nature. Capacity: 14978
How To Attend
Stanisława Lema 7, KRAKÓW, 31-571 Capacity: 14978
TAURON Arena Kraków is located 4 km from the Main Market Square in Kraków, at Lema Street, between Al. Pokoju, Mogilska Street and al. Jana Pawła II, in XIV Czyżyny District. There are road signs all over the city showing the directions to TAURON Arena Kraków. The venue is well connected with the rest of the city. There are bus and tram stops in the nearby, taxi rank and the car park with over 1300 spaces. One can get to TAURON Arena Kraków by bike – the cycle routes connect the rest of the city. There are bicycle racks for over 200 bikes in front of the building. Get directions
Wilfredo LEON VENERO
The Cuban-born volleyball superstar debuted in his home country’s senior national team at an extremely young age of 14. Leon, regarded by some as the best player in the world, was able to join Team Poland in 2019. Apart from world and continental level medals and even more individual awards, he is a holder of some impressive records, including 13 aces in one game in a 2021 VNL match against Serbia
Addressul. Puławska 383 WARSAW
- All Time
A lot of fans on the tribune cheer Polish team
Ukrainian Plotnytskyi, VIIETSKYI and Semeniuk happy after successful winning the point
Eagle mascot gets some fun for the fans
Vitaliy Shchytkov (15) direct the ball for Oleh Plotnytskyi's (5) attack
Wilfredo Leon (9) digs the ball and saves the point for Poland's team
Grzegorz Łomacz directs the ball to middle blocker Nowakowski
Bartosz Kurek (6) cheers after successful rally
Bartosz Kurek (6) spikes and the ball passes the block with ease
Volodymyr SYDORENKO getting ready to reception
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Poland cement top spot in Pool A
In their last match of the pool phase, co-hosts Poland - the only unbeaten team in the group - fought against a Ukraine side who were already confirmed as finishing 3rd, knowing that a win would take them back to the top of the pool.
The game started with the home side securing a three-point advantage (8-5), but when the gap suddenly increased to six points, a time-out was requested by the head coach of Ukraine, Ugis Krastins (15-9). It proved to be in vain though, as the reigning World Champions easily made it to the end, achieving an impressive first set result of 25-15.
The Ukrainians were eager to battle and took the lead in the beginning of the second part (6-3). The middle blocker of Poland, Piotr Nowakowski, filled in the gap with a series of aces, along with a huge contribution from outside spiker Wilfredo Leon. Polands players took the initiative (21-16) and in consequence became the winner of the second set (25-20).
Between the second and third set, a special celebration took place in the Arena. Polish fans, as well as the volleyball authorities, congratulated Filip Lejawa and Aleksander Czachorowski, who had gained the silver medal in U-18 Men’s Beach Volleyball European Championship.
The ambitious Ukraine side refused to give up and bravely tried to force the match into the further set (16-16), but Poland was strongly motivated to finish its performance in the pool phase in this set (21-19). In the end they successfully closed the match with an ace from opposite Bartosz Kurek (25-21) and sealed their position at the top of the Pool A. They will face the team who finish 4th in Pool C in the Eighth Finals this weekend.
"We played much better than Ukraine. It was visible that this game didn't have any meaning for them and they were not fully focused, because they can play much better. But the result is like it is and we like it, because we came here to win this match."
middle blocker of Poland
"It was hard to find motivation. We just gave the opportunity to play to other players. They played and they could feel the court and atmosphere here. Time on the court is always better than sitting on the bench, and I think it will help us in the playoffs."
captain of Ukraine
The match in numbers
The combined total number of points scored by both teams throughout the entire match.
The total length of the match, from the first serve through until the last point has ended.
Total number of people in attendance at the venue – taken at the end of the second set.
The combined total number of successful spikes achieved by both teams throughout the entire match.
An average of the two team service reception percentages from the complete match.
The number of successful point winning blocks of POLAND compared to UKRAINE.
POLAND number of service aces compared to UKRAINE
Errors leading to points of POLAND, next to those from UKRAINE