Russia's Maxim Mikhaylov attacks
Beijing, August 12, 2008 - Athens Olympic Games bronze medal winner Russia came from behind twice to edge Germany in a close five-set match 3-2 (25-27, 25-21, 21-25, 25-23, 16-14) in the first match on the second day of the Olympic Men's Volleyball Tournament at the Beijing Institute of Technology on Tuesday.
Germany, a qualifier at the Olympic Qualification Tournament in Germany this May, started strongly in the first set, giving their opponents a scare. Both teams exchanged lead several times, with heavy attacks from Jochen Schops and Stefan Hubner from Germany slicing through Russia's three man blocking defence. Errors at crucial times cost Russia dearly and at 25-all, the Germans squeezed ahead to take the set 27-25.
The class of the Russia team was for all to see in the second set. The Germans tried hard but never found a way to stop the spikes from their opponents. With a coordinated display of attacks, effective blocking and fewer mistakes, Russia levelled the set scores at one all.
The pattern in the first set appeared again in the third set, with good blocking and attacking by the Germans, Russia failed to find some new ways to stop germany, who gained momentum and a powerful attack from spiker Bjorn Andrae of Germany secured them the third set.
In the fourth set, the two teams went head-to-head throughout, but Russia won the set in the end, forcing the match into the tiebreaker.
Russia jumped to a 5-1 lead in the early stage, only finding Germany fight back not only level the score at five all, but also went to lead at 11-8, 12-10 and 14-13, with one point more, Germany would have won the match. However, A drop and a strong spiking by wing spiker Semen Poltavskiy let the Russians came to lead at 15-14.and A block wrapped the final set 16-14 in favor of Russia..