PRESS RELEASE 02.08.2003


Algeria defeats defending champs

August 3, 2003 - Hosts Egypt and Algeria led both groups after the second day of the 14th African Nations Championship in Cairo. Both teams recorded their second successive win with Egypt beating Rwanda 3-0 and Algeria collecting a hard fought 3-2 win over last year's title holders Cameroon.

In the fourth and last match of the second day Egypt achieved an easy win over Rwanda in the shortest match of the competition so far as it took only 53 minutes for the Egyptians to end the match in straight sets 25-9, 25-15, 25-15. Egypt started the match with top players like Hamdy El-safi and Ibrahim Rashwan in the first set, but they soon gave way for in the second and third sets for second choice players like Nehad Shehata and Saleh Fathi. The second set was the best for Rwanda as they led for the first and last time 8-6 but Egypt regain the rhythm to equalize 10-10 and courtesy of the good service of Mahmoud Abelaziz and Nehad, Egypt won the set. Rwanda players Jean Luc and Eric Msabimana were the best on court but the overall Egyptian experience was too much.

Algeria, meanwhile, finished off the most exciting game of the second day in style with a very difficult victory over Cameroon in five sets (25-19, 20-25, 25-16, 19-25, 17-15) in 100 minutes of fantastic volleyball. Algeria led the match from the start by winning the first set 25-19 in 19 minutes due to the good performance of the spiker Bernaoui Krimo. Cameroon then equalized by winning the second set 25-20 in 25 minutes through their perfect block of Ndaki Mboult and Menva Guy. Algeria regained the lead by winning the third set 25-16 in 16 minutes thanks to their solid defense of the libero Dif Hassan and the spikes of Kerboua Ali. But Cameroon took the match into the tie break for the first time in the competition as it won the fourth set 25-19 following some good blocking from Menva Guy against the Algerian spikes. The final set was very interesting as Algeria led in the technical time-out 8-6 before Cameroon equalized at 11-11 and 14-14 but the more experienced Algerian players ended the set 17-15.

In the other matches Tunis (Group A) and Morocco (Group B) achieved their first wins of the tournament with a 3-0 victory over RD Congo and a streight sets win over South Africa respectively.

The disappointed Tunisian team did its best to regain the spirit of competition against RD Congo and succeeded by claiming a 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-16) victory in only 54 minutes. Tunis played with its main players to achieve a fast win and this occurred through the stable form of the setter Ghazi Guidara and the spiker Noureddine Hfaidh. In the first set the good block of the Tunisian team especially Chaker Ghezal and Hosni Karamosly made it easy to win 25-13. In the second and third sets Congo team appeared better with their spiker Mosange as star of his team but the more experienced Tunisian players won both sets 25-17 and 25-16 easily.

Morocco, meanwhile, beat South Africa in a good match as the new emerging Morocco team played a decisively to win in straight sets 25-21, 25-18, 25-23 with their spiker Khalid Satour and blocker Abdesamad and Hisham Adim as superstars of the match. In the first set the Morocco team led from the start with the aid of their blockers and good service of Khalid Satour to win 25-21. In the second set it was easier for Morocco to win 25-18 in a shorter time due to good defense of Adil Erraisse and Youcef Aharrar. The third set was the most exciting as South Africa team did the best to reverse the trend of the match and drew level at 23-23 as their spikers Guershon Rorich and Adriaan as well as the blocker Goldschmidt came on form but Morocco used their experience to wrap up the set and the match 25-23.