Argentina go top as Greek dream stalled
Greece, August 19, 2004 – World number eight Argentina
virtually guaranteed themselves a place in the 2004
Olympic Games men’s Volleyball competition quarterfinals
with their third win from three matches after beating
Greece 3-1 (16-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-22) on Thursday.
The South Americans now lead Pool A and with the top
four in each of the two pools qualifying for the
quarterfinals, which start on Tuesday, Argentina can
only be beaten on set ratio. “We move step by step
towards the quarterfinals,” said Argentina captain
Marcos Milinkovic, who scored a game high 27 points.
“Although our group is very tough, I believe that if we
play the next matches as we did today we will make it.”
It was a disappointing result for Greece and their fans
who packed the Peace and Friendship Stadium to see their
stars continue their dream run towards the quarterfinals.
The defeat now means the home side sits in equal second
place with two victories from three games, level with
Sydney 2000 champions Serbia and Montenegro who
consigned Tunisia to their third straight defeat with a
straight sets (25-16, 25-18, 25-21) win. France,
meanwhile claimed their first win in Pool A after
beating Poland with surprising ease 25-15, 25-18, 25-17.
In Pool B, Brazil maintained their undefeated streak
with a 3-1 (25-22, 24-26, 25-21, 25-19) win over a tough
Netherlands side to put them in a similar position to
Argentina. With only two more matches remaining in the
Preliminary Round both South American sides can only
miss out on a quarterfinal spot on set ratio.
“I was very worried as the Netherlands played very well,”
Brazil head coach Bernardo Rezende said. “We had a hard
time controlling them but our team showed maturity. We
are happy to win and we hope to continue this way.”
The victory puts Brazil one win ahead of Italy, who
claimed their second victory of the tournament when they
beat Australia 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-21) in the day’s
opening match and Russia, who beat USA 3-1 (22-25,
25-20, 25-16, 25-23) in the final match of the day. The
Netherlands, with one win, sit just ahead of Australia,
who are yet to win a match, at the foot of the table.
The fourth day of the women’s competition resumes on
Friday with China playing Germany at 09:00. The other
women’s matches see the Dominican Republic play Cuba,
Korea take on Japan, Greece host Brazil, Italy play
Tunisia and Russia take on USA.
Three - Greece, Argentina battle atop Pool A
18 August – A battle between Pool A leaders Greece and
Argentina and a rematch of the traditional rivalry
between Russia and the United States headline Thursday's
Day Three matches in the Men's Volleyball Tournament at
the Peace and Friendship Stadium.
At 09:00, Australia opens against Italy, who will be
trying to rebound from Tuesday's loss to Brazil.
Australia still stands at the bottom of Pool B.
The Netherlands, which beat Russia in its opening match,
will try to produce another good performance at 11:00
against Brazil, the only undefeated team in Pool B.
At 14:00, Poland takes on France. Both teams are coming
off defeats, with the world number four French still
searching for their first win in Pool A.
Serbia and Montenegro is the heavy favourite against
Tunisia. The defending champion have a 1-1 record, while
Tunisia is winless.
Greece and Argentina go head-to-head at 19:30, each
fighting to stay atop Pool A.
Russia faces traditional rival USA at 21:30. Both teams
have 1-1 records.