Matosinhos, Portugal, July 9, 2016 – John Gordon Perrin helped Canada to claim the first World League 2016 Group 2 final ticket by beating Turkey 3-0 (26-24, 25-17, 25-23) in front of 1250 spectators at Centro de Desportos e Congressos in Matosinhos on Saturday afternoon. It was the first ever meeting between Canada and Turkey at a major tournament.
John Gordon Perrin contributed 20 points for Canada while Baturalp Burak Gungor scored 19 times for Turkey. Canada made the difference with 11-5 block winners and less mistakes (14-20).
There was not much to separate the two teams in the early stages of the match with Canada entering the first technical timeout at 8-7. Canadian outside hitter Perrin (7 points in the first set) moved the scoreboard forward for the North Americans to force Turkey coach Emanuelle Zanini calling his players off court at 17-19. It apparently helped as Turkey bounced back bravely. However, the Turks could not close it out. The Canadians saved a set ball at 23-24 before finishing the first set 26-24 with a breath-taking block winner of captain Frederic Winters on Gungor.
Both teams displayed a fast and attractive game in the beginning of the second set. Yet the favourites from Canada kept momentum and stretched the lead to five points at 14-9. The Europeans did their best to resist but could not stop the strong Canadian offense. Zanini called another timeout at 13-19 but it was already too late for a comeback. A Turkish service mistake offered the Canadians a well-deserved 25-17 second set win.
The story of the match did not change much in the third and last set. Canada kept the upper hand while Turkey did not find a way to turn the tables. Even though Turkey fought bravely until the end, Canada pulled through. Perrin ended the clash with a block winner at 25-23 to give the North Americans their well-deserved ticket for Sunday’s final match.