Casablanca, Morocco July 14, 2007 – The two favorites ahead and World champions Brazil and Russia played accordingly and booked themselves a spot in Sunday's final of the FIVB Junior Men's World Championship, after respective wins over Italy and Iran respectively. This will be a repetion of the 2005 gold medal match in India, were Russians beat Brazilians 3-0. Also this encounter will be the same between this two teams in the World League final to be played on Sunday in Katowice.
Russia, defending champion, won this title in 2005, 1999 and 1995, following four gold medals for the former Soviet Union (in 1989, 1985, 1981 and 1977), and Brazil won the gold medal in 2001 and 1993.
Brazil led by spiker Deivid Costa and the talented setter Tiago Gelinski beat Italy in an epic semifinal encounter 3-2 (25-18, 15-25, 27-25, 25-20, 15-8), while Russia won Iran, coming from one set behind to record a 3-1 (21-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-21) victory to reach the final for the ninth time in their history.
Italian team fought hard during 1h23 but could not change the story and will play on Sunday for the bronze medal against Asian Champion Iran. Brazilians gave the Maroccan fans a great volleyball show were Wallace De Souza scored 19 points the same as Italian Matteo Martino.
Meanwhile, defending World Champion Russia suffered to beat Iran, who ended at the top of Pool A in the first round, as the Eastern Europeans conceded out the first set to the surprising Asian champions. But this was the calling of the Russian spiker Maxim Mikhaylov who led his team to take the next three sets and scored 21 points.
In other matches played on Saturday, Bulgaria won a decisive in three sets USA (26-24, 25-20, 25-22) in their semifinal for positions 5-8. Bulgarias's star player Tsvetan Sokolov was the man of the match as he scored 26 points.
In the other semifinal for positions 5-8, Argentina fought out a three setter with Cuba in 1h19, in a match played in Rabat. South Americans won 25-20, 25-19, 25-23 and will play Bulgaria on Sunday for 5th position.
In a morning match in Casablanca, Egypt won Japan 3-1 (24-26, 26-24, 25-20, 25-19) and now will play Slovenia on Sunday for the 9th and 10th position. Japanese Daisuke Yako was the best scorer of this match with 24 points.
Also in an early Saturday match in Casablanca, the host Morocco lost against Slovenia 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-23) and will play for the 11th and 12th position against Japan. Slovenian Ziga Zupanc was the best scorer of the match with 13 points.
In Sunday's final actions Russia will defend their title against Brazil in Casablanca at 18:30h, while Iran meets Italy for the third and fourth positions at 16:00h. In Rabat USA plays Cuba for the seventh and eighth positions at 09:00, while at 11:30h Argentina will meet Bulgaria for fifth and sixth places positions. In morning matches in Casablanca Japan plays Morocco at 09:00h and Egypt plays Slovenia at 11:30h.