May 02, 2003 - In the first of three friendly matches, a young Dutch men's side battled injuries and inexperience to topple the Brazilian World Champions in a classic five-set encounter in Nieuwegein, Holland last night.
The 'Orange squad' fought back from a set down before clinching victory 18-25, 25-16, 25-23, 22-25, 20-18 over a Brazilian side missing a couple of stars playing in the Italian League but boasting players such as Maurício, Henrique and André Nascimento.
Despite the result the match did end on a sour note for the home side with three players suffering aggravating injuries. Erik Schuil, the brother of the more experienced Richard, was the worst case having been ruled of volleyball for at least a month with an Achilles heel injury. The other casualties were Nico Freriks, who suffered a back strain, while Joram Maan left the court with a sprained ankle.
The injuries are a serious blow for the Netherlands as they prepare for a European Championship qualification tournament next weekend, while Brazil will be looking to address things in the next two games, which are played today and tomorrow, as they warm up for the World League.