by Simon Daish
Finishing in the runner-up spot in Group B the Netherlands entered the fixture against Group C winners Austria with the odds against them.
The match opened with a fantastic duel which saw Li Jie come out on top against Liu Jia across five games to put the Netherlands ahead (11-5, 11-8, 14-16, 8-11, 11-9).
Looking to make a quick response, Austria fielded Sofia Polcanova and Amelie Solja for the second and third encounters against Britt Eerland (11-13, 10-12, 6-11) and Kim Vermaas (8-11, 9-11, 14-12, 5-11) to steal the momentum away from the Netherlands.
However, it was not to be for Austria as Li Jie levelled the tie with a comfortable win against Sofia Polcanova (11-7, 11-9, 11-9) before Britt Eerland saw off Liu Jia with an excellent straight games victory (11-5, 11-7, 12-10) to propel the Dutch side into the top four.
“This victory is a very big thing for us because we are a new team. Li Jiao is now our coach, we are a young team and to be in the quarter-finals was our goal so we only can happy that we won our knockout match”, Li Jie.
Awaiting the Netherlands in the next round is a tie with either Germany or Poland.
In the lower half of the quarter-finals draw there were joyous scenes from the Russian team, defeating opponents Hungary by a 3-1 scoreline.
Polina Mikhailova was the hero for Russia claiming two wins from her fixtures against Dora Madarasz (8-11, 13-11, 12-10, 13-15, 11-9) and Georgina Pota (11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6), while a confident display from Yana Noskova against Szandra Pergel (12-10, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6) gave Russia a third win.
“We were satisfied that we qualified for the quarter-finals as first seed in our group yesterday and we are glad to win the match against Hungary. We won’t stop fighting in the next matches but we will play under less pressure on our way to a medal”, Polina Mikhailova.
Russia plays either Portugal or Romania for a place in the final.