Nagoya, Japan, November 22, 2009 - Brazil romped to a 3-0 victory over Egypt to extend their win-loss record to 4-0 on Sunday in their defence of the FIVB Men’s World Grand Champions Cup. The South American champions were far from their fluid best but had enough individual quality to come home 25-21, 25-22, 25-22, to the delight of a large contingent of Brazilian fans in the arena. Egypt slipped to 0-4 with just one game to play.
Brazil’s fast and accurate serves immediately put Egypt under pressure, as they struggled to find any pattern to their attacks in the early stages. With captain Giba in an ominously business-like mood, Brazil pulled away to 8-4 at the first TTO. After their impressive start, the Brazilians began to make errors on attack, and Egypt stayed in touch with some outstanding hitting from southpaw Ahmed Salah on the right flank. Not even Brazil’s excellent block could stop the lefty, and it was mainly down to him that Egypt trailed by only three, 16-13, at the second TTO. Egypt’s superb digging and blocking, especially by Moneim on Giba, and the incredible spiking skills of Salah (eight kills in the first set) pulled the African champions to within one point on three occasions, but their game deserted them at the crucial stage and they made elementary mistakes on the basics and lost the set 25-21.
Early in the second set, coach Bernardinho removed Vissotto, who was not having a good day at the office and could not find his range at all. Giba, on the other hand, could find winners from anywhere, and fired his team into the lead, 8-7, at the first TTO. A blazing ace from Abdel Latif was the highlight of the next passage of play as Egypt stayed in touch and southpaw Salah continued to batter through the Brazilian block. Brazil were nowhere near at their fluid best but still led 16-13 at the second TTO thanks to some fine individual play. Egypt called a TO trailing 21-18, but seemed to suffer from the stoppage as they completely lost their attacking edge and gave up too many easy points on inaccurate spikes. Brazil were guilty, too, and needed a TO leading 24-22 when even Giba overhit. Rodrigao ended it 25-22 for 2-0.
At the start of the third set, Egypt changed their libero, Mohamed Meawad for starter Wael Alaydy, as they took advantage of the new FIVB rule, which is being trialled at this tournament, permitting two liberos in the squad of 12. With the help of an Abdel Latif ace, Egypt raced into a 6-1 lead and headed into the first TTO up 8-6 thanks to a Salah ace.
Murilo blocked Salah on two consecutive points for 9-9, and Theo continued to produce points as Brazil tried to step up the pace mid-set. Ahmed Youssef, who earlier in the game had pulled off an astonishing one-handed block on Murilo, then took up the attack for Egypt, who trailed by only one, 16-15, at the second TTO. However, with the finish line in sight, Brazil soon got down to business and with the help of a Lucas jack-hammer blow at the net, Brazil wrapped it up 25-22, 3-0.