Nagoya, Japan, November 23, 2009 - Poland saved their best for last and beat Egypt 3-0 in the second match of the final day of the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup 2009 on Monday afternoon. The European champions showed flashes of brilliance in a consistent and determined display to sweep the African champions 25-19, 25-18, 25-19 and end the inter-continental championship in fourth position with a respectable 2-3 record. Egypt finished winless at 0-5.
Poland began the match with confidence high after their first win of the tournament the previous day, and they pulled away in the later stages of the first set to take it comfortably 25-19. Bartosz Kurek led the scoring with seven points, including five spikes and the blow that closed out the opening frame, and Jakub Jarosz contributed five points, among them an ace that brought up six set points at 24-18. In reply, southpaw Ahmed Salah, who had played so well the previous day to rock the Brazilian defence, led the Egyptian attack with four spikes, well supported by Moneim. Middle blocker Abdel Latif had two blocks and two spikes in his four points.
Poland’s blocking enabled them to open up a three-point lead, 8-5, at the first TTO of the second set, and Marcin Mozdzonek extended that with a mighty spike down the middle. Kurek’s back-court attack was too hot for the Egyptian defence to handle and the Poles were in good form as the set progressed. A series of tired attacking errors left Egypt trailing 14-9, at which point coach Giacobbe took his side off for a TO. Moneim was replaced on the restart, but Youssef was blocked on the next point and the Poles were in command, 16-9, at the second TTO. A Kurek cracker from the left and thundering Jarosz ace moved Poland closer to the second frame, and at 21-13 Egypt replaced Salah with Mohamed Gabal. The Poles were in their best form of the week, though, and raced away 25-18, as Mozdzonek ended some late resistance in emphatic style at the net.
Egypt’s “men in black” showed signs of a revival in the third set, as Moneim swung lustily, Rashad pounced at the net and setter Abdalla flicked one into space for an 8-5 lead at the first TTO. Abdalla’s fiery serves were backed up by an astonishing smash from a deep position which shocked the Poles with its velocity and athleticism and had the crowd gasping, but Poland were starting to find their rhythm again and dictate the pace. Down 14-12, Egypt took a TO but trailed by three, 16-13, at the second TTO. A cleverly disguised ace from Mozdzonek moved Poland to 21-16 and the Europeans closed it 25-19.