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Men’s World Cup: Brazil, Poland, Egypt on top after Day 2

Brazil celebrate win no. 2 in Men's World Cup
Fukuoka and Nagano, Japan, October 2, 2019 – Brazil bagged their second win of the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Cup with a 3-0 defeat (25-15, 25-20, 25-17) of Australia on Wednesday to lead the current standings.

The Olympic champions led on all scoring fronts, utilising solid blocks and a strong service. Their captain Bruno Rezende talked about keeping focus as a team across a long and tough tournament. 

“I think two things are really important in a long competition like the World Cup. Of course, the physical part, because we have 11 games in 15 days, so it’s not easy and you’re playing against the best teams in the world. And, of course, to keep your focus every game. It’s not easy for a team that wants to be the champions, you have to be prepared for every game like a final.”

Poland 3-1 Japan
Poland took second place on Day 2 after their victory against Japan 3-1 (25-23, 25-17, 19-25, 25-17). 

The European side pressed with their service, which saw the hosts unable to side-out in crucial runs. Poland likewise played good block-defence, converting off 14 deflections. Captain Bartosz Kurek scored 15 points, while Yuji Nishida led all scorers (with 16 points) in the loss.

Egypt 3-1 Iran
Egypt celebrated a huge 3-1 win (21-25, 26-24, 25-18, 26-24) against current Asian champions Iran to take third spot in the standings.

It was the African side’s first win in three World Cup encounters with Iran (2011, 2015, 2019).

Egypt’s setter Abdallah Bekhit said: “The players were concentrating so much in the first set that we made so many mistakes, but in the second set, after we confirmed we were back in the game the players started to become a bit quiet. We concentrated on the match to play to win, and to play without mistakes. That happened in the second set, after which the team went along with that concentration until we won in the fourth set.”

Egypt won their second match (3-1 against Iran) on Wednesday

Argentina and Russia also won their matches on Wednesday, to settle into the fourth and fifth spots in the ranking.  

Argentina 3-1 Tunisia
Argentina utilised their blocks and strong serves to take a 3-1 (25-19, 25-18, 23-25, 25-14) victory against Tunisia. Bruno Lima, Agustin Loser, Ezequiel Palacios and Jan Martinez Franchi each scored in double-digits, representing a well-distributed offence for the Argentines. Tunisia’s Hamza Nagga scored 23 points in the loss.

Argentina lined up effectively at the net, scoring off 10 blocks against Tunisia

Russia 3-2 Canada
Russia climbed back into the game after going two sets down, to take the tie-break on Canada 3-2 (23-25, 16-25, 25-17, 25-23, 15-10).

Canada fought with high spirits in the first two sets, defending well to pass and convert. Russia picked up their game with good serves, which forced the Canadian side to work a little bit harder. The European side also improved their defence and attack efficiency to eventually win the match. Russia’s Fedor Voronkov led the team with 16 points but it was Ivan Iakovlev who delivered crucial, strategic serves that helped define the victory.

USA 3-1 Italy
World Cup title-holders USA picked up their first win in the 2019 campaign, with a 3-1 win against Italy (19-25, 25-19, 25-14, 25-19). In the first set, USA lagged in tempo and struggled to run their offence efficiently. They then began working on service pressure, they attacked well and minimised their errors. Matthew Anderson and Aaron Russell led the Americans, scoring 16 points each.

“We really wanted to serve tough and to counter-act. Yesterday we wanted to improve on defence, make some plays on the backcourt instead of blocking and I think we were able to do that today and turned some points. We also needed to pass the ball well because they’ve got servers in their team and in the end that made a big difference,” said Russell.
Matches resume on Friday at Marinmesse Fukuoka and White Ring Nagano after the teams head for rest and recovery tomorrow. All twelve teams converge in Hiroshima to play out the second and third rounds at the Green Arena.

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