Men's competition, Espinho
From 2 June To 6 June 2004

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Aussies triumph in thriller
Espinho, Portugal, June 4, 2004 - Australians Andrew Schacht and Josh Slack advanced to round two of the main draw at the 2004, Swatch - FIVB World Tour, Portugal Open in Espinho on Friday following a dramatic confrontation with Julius Brink and Ksell "Kelli" Schneider of Germany.

Having lost the first set by 24-26 to the Germans, Schacht-Slack recovered to take the second 21-18 before sweating it out in what seemed like a never ending third and final set that finished 20-18 in favour of the Australians.

"In the end there was hardly anything in it at all," Schacht admitted afterwards. "A couple of good defensive plays by us towards the closing stages frustrated them and they couldn't put the game away when they were up. They had a few match points that they couldn't capitalise on but having said that, I thought they played really well. We met them in China a little while ago and beat them in three sets so we know they're a good team and if you let them play they can cause you a lot of problems."

As for Slack, a recovery of mind after the opening exchanges was crucial to his team's victory. "I let some missed opportunities early on fluster me and my head was all over the place for a while," said the Adelaide star. "But in the third set when we had to play I was calm, talked a lot and set out plans that came off. I think the difference might have been that we were calmer than them at the end of the match," he added.

China Open winners, Javier Bosma and Pablo Herrera of Spain slumped to a 2-0 (21-17, 27-25) defeat to Russian 25th seeds Roman Arkaev and Dmitri Barsouk while there were no problems for World Champions Ricardo and Emanuel of Brazil in their first game of the tournament as they took 35 minutes to grab a 2-0 (21-13, 21-16) win against Portuguese players Pedro Azenha and Jose Teixeira.