Estonia's journey at the 2021 men's European volleyball championship wrapped up on Wednesday night with a 0:3 (18:25, 17:25, 19:25) loss to Olympic champion France.
Estonia started the match with the slightest chance to advance to the final round of the EuroVolley tournament. They would have had to defeated the Olympic champ, however.
The Estonians started the match in front of an energetic home crowd well and stayed on the French team's heels until 9:10 when France went on a seven-point run. Estonia tried digging out of the hole and reduced the gap to four points, but France ended up taking the first set 25:18.
France started strong in the second set and did not leave Estonia much space to get going, taking a 11:5 lead against the home team. Estonia again reduced the gap, this time to three, but the Olympic gold medalists did not look back and took the second set 25:17.
In the third set , Estonia offered their fans one last show to start and took a 8:6 lead, after which the set was a tight affair until 16:15 for France, who promptly went on a four-point run to extend their lead to five. The Estonians were not able to come back from that and France realized a 25:19 set victory and won all five of their group D matches held in Estonia.
France collected 15 points from five matches and advanced as the first team from group D and did so while only dropping one set the entire tournament, Germany was second at 11 points, only enduring a loss to the eventual group winner. Croatia advanced with seven points and Latvia was the fourth team to advance with five points.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste