Beijing, China, August 22, 2008 - Brazil secured a spot for the gold-medal match by beating Italy 3-1 (19-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-22) at Capital
Gymnasium on Friday.
Italy won the first set after strongly blocking Giba and André. The Italian offence was based on
attacks from Alberto Cisolla and Mauro Gavotto. Alessandro Paparoni was the
Italian libero, since Mirko Corsano was out again with a bad knee.
Brazil took an early lead in the second, defending the
Italian spikes which prepared Giba and Andre for counter-attacks. Andre Heller contributed to the Brazilian offence with quick middle attacks.
Gavotto was Italy's only attacking option as other
hitters were well-guarded by the Brazilian block. Italy struggled on their
reception allowing Brazil to level the match.
In the third set, Giba led the way with his
powerful left-side spikes, while Italy committed service errors that allowed
Brazil to pull away. Luigi Mastrangelo twisted his ankle on Cisolla's foot while
falling from a block and Italy was forced to battle on.
Brazil then deflected attacks from Matteo Martino which allowed them to pull-away.