PUNE, India (Aug. 4, 2009) - China fought gallantly to beat Greece at 25-23, 23-25, 24-26, 25-12, 15-13 in Pool H of the 2009 FIVB Men's Junior world Championship at Pune, India.
Canada and China in Pool H and France and Poland in Pool G emerged winners today in theplay-off phase.
Three spikers, Song Jianwei, Dai Quingyao and Geng Xin were the main point-getters for China with 16, 14 and 12 points respectively. But for Greece the towering Mitar Tzourtits was the main with 25 points from 55 spikes.
For the first time China played an aggressive game and it really put its heart in the match. The way Greek started the first by taking 8-7 lead and then going ahead to 12-8 it looked like wash out for China. But the team quickly gained its rhythm as spikers Song and Dai unleashed their smashes. Still Greece cut the lead to 21-22. But China stood firm and was not rattled by Greece’s attack.
It was a neck and neck race in the second set. China trailed 4-8, but it rallied brilliantly to to make it 9-all and then there was a point for point race till 14-14 before China took a 16-15 at the second technical time out. However, it was Greece’s strong block that blunted China’s offence and Greece wrapped the second and third sets in similar fashion. In the third set though China led 16-13, from 20-all Greece showed better understanding and put pressure on China with quick finish at the net. Ji and Song also hit out their shots at the finishing stages.
The fifth set was the most tension ridden as China, after taking an early lead 8-4, made mistakes under pressure. But Ji and Geng unleashed two aces that helped China to came back. But China still stumbled when it conceded the three point lead 13-10 to 13-13. But China’s attack came good at this stage and it won the five setter.