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FIVB Men's Olympic Games 2008

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Menís African Olympic Qualifications, Day one: Big teams achieved victories

South Afric team lost in the opening

Durban, South Africa February 3, 2008 - The big battle to determine the African Olympic ticket started with very exciting matches as all the big forces achieved victories in the first day of the Menís African Olympic Qualifications at Tongart Hall in Durban, South Africa on Sunday. The big favorite to the Olympic ticket Tunisia took over their neighbors Morocco in the first dayís most exciting match, while Algeria swept the strong Nigerian team in another big face of. The organizers South Africa lost their first match against the lions of Cameroon, while Gabon was the opening surprise as they clinched an important victory over Mozambique after a brave performance.
 The opening ceremony was attended by the member of executive committee Ministry of Sports Mr. A. Rajbansi, Vice President of South African Sports Confederation and Olympic committee Mrs. Hajeera Kajee, The deputy Mayor of Ethekwini Logie Naidoo, Head of Department of sports and recreation Mrs. Symayya Khan, chief director of Department of sports and recreation Mr. Sangweni, Manager of KZW Academy of sports Aleck Skhosana, CAVB first Vice president and South Africa Volleyball Federation President Mr. Tubby Reddy, CAVB Vice president Mr. Baba Sy and Control Committee members Mr. Majore Timba, Mr. Camilo Antao, CAVB Referee committee president Mr. Hassan Ahmed and CAVB Technical director Mrs. Howyda Mondy
South Africa vs. Cameroon
 Cameroon beat the organizers South Africa in front of a big crowd of their spectators 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-22) in 67 minutes of exciting volleyball. Although the South African team played one of their best matches in the last few years under supervision of their coach Abdel Hamid El Wassimy, Cameroon got the lead through their unstoppable spikes from all the net positions that make them one of the big favorites for the Olympic ticket. 
 The home team started the match very active aided by their spectators and this helped them to lead several times after some successful hits from the experienced player Freedom Chiya and the spike service of Naidoo Leslie so they led 7-5 before Cameroon used the strong attackers Wounembaina and Jean Nziemi to lead 8-7 at the FTT and then 16-10. Cameroon used their well known spike service and passed easily to win the first set 25-17.
 South Africa arranged their block and succeeded to go point by point with Cameroon team until the lions of Cameroon led 8-7 at the FTT. Cameroon again used the strong spike service and the setter Mariel Ndaki succeeded to lead the attacks and combinations to allow the team to extend their lead to 16-13. The host team improved their spiking through Thokozani Ntuli who had many effeicint hits thallowed them to come near again but Cameroon players ended the set in the best performance to win 25-19
 Again South Africa returned to the match in the third set with the spectators more and more excited. They went point by point till 10-10 due to the rapid attacks through Patrick Klostermann and the acitive Ntuli. Cameroon returned to the match with the strong rockets of Nziemi to reach to 16-13 b the STT. Cameroon did the best to end the third and last set 25-22 to win the match in straight sets.
Morocco vs. Tunisia
 In the neighbors Tunisia and Morocco clash the Tunisian head coach played with all the players list and succeeded to achieve a comfortable 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-16) in 67 minutes of thriller performance from the Tunisian side led by the experienced setter Ghazi guidara and the centre Chaker Ghezal who were the stars of the match in Pool B match. Tunisia becomes one step towards their hopes of Olympic ticket.
 Tunisia started the match with more arrangement in defense and attacks and through the skillful setting by the experienced setter Ghazi Guidara who used his talent passes to lead 8-5 at the first TT. Tunisia stayed as the better side when the right attacker Hesham Kaabi used his well known spikes to penetrate the Moroccan block. Morocco coach Alami Hassan Idrissi made many substitutions to control the net but Tunisia was better in attack to end the set 25-18.
 The second set featured more aggressive Tunisian attacks through Kaabi and Khalid Belaid as well as more disciplined block by the experienced centre Chaker Ghezal and Bilel Ben Hassine. Morocco arranged their block through the centers as Idriss Cherqi did well with Khalid Satour but Tunisia had the upper hand to lead 16-13. Morocco struggled in the last few points in the set but Tunisia was better in back line defense and reception and so they won the set 25-20.
 In the third set the Tunisian head coach Kamel Rekaya changed some players and gave the chance to Hosni Karamosli and Ayman Ben Brik and as they substitutes did well Tunisia continued leading through a group of floater services 8-2. Satour led Morocco to decrease the point deficit gradually but again Ben Brik and Ghezal were efficient in the Tunisian side to win the set 25- 16 and the match in straight sets.
Nigeria vs. Algeria
 It was a very tough match when Algeria took over Nigeria in straight sets (25-19, 25-13, 25-20) after great performance form the match stars Ali Kerboua and Mohamed Chikhi who didnít allow the Nigerian to breathe for 61 minutes in Pool A match. Algeria becomes 1-0 while Nigeria 0-1.
 The match showed a very exciting start from both teams as the Algerian setter Debbih Messaoid succeeded to use the combinations by the net that helped the team to lead through strong spikes of Ali Kerboua and Mohamed Chikhi to lead 8-5 by the first technical time out. Nigeria also used the strong spikes of Isaac Ijigba and Jonah Adamu to come near but Algeria was leading also 16-14 at the STT. The Algerian combinations succeeded to deceive the Nigerian block and thus Algeria won the set 25-19.
 The second set showed Algerian dominance through the strong spike service of Kerboua and Chikhi that disturbed the Nigerian defense and helped the Algerians to go comfortably 8-3 and then 16-7 after a group of successful spikes by Amine Oumessad and Tawkik Belaid. Nigeria tried to adjust the block against the Algerian hits but they failed and Algeria won the set 25-13 and made it 2-0 
 In the third set Nigeria tried to save the match as the Russian Head coach Sergey Ovechkin made some substitutions and this helped more arrangement of the defense and block so Nigeria led 14-13. Ijigba did well in spiking from position 4 and also Adamu but the Algerian stars regain their performance and settled the situation by winning the set 25-20 and the match in straight sets.
Gabon vs. Mozambique
 Gabon was superior in net action enough to clinch a straight sets victory over the struggling Mozambique 3-0 (25-16, 25-23, 25-22) in 70 minutes to start the competition with win- loss ratio of 1-0 while Mozambique became 0-1 in Pool B.  
 Gabon was more disciplines at the beginning of the match as they used their better block through centers Belenger Madengue and Regis Dibangoye to lead 8-3 at the first technical time out. They used also the reception and service mistakes of Mozambique team to continue leading 16-9. Mozambique started to use their efficient spikers Delcio Soares and Joao Majaque but Gabon blocked them to win the set 25-16.
 In the second set Mozambique backline defense improved enough to stay near till Gabon led narrowly 8-7 by the FTT. Mozambique started to use the spike service of Soares to disturb Gabon defense with some substitutions by their coach Angelo Lourenco to improve defense so they led for the first time 20-17 before Gabon team regained the rhythm to clinch the narrow set 25-23. 
 In the third set Gabon started leading through their efficient spikes from the middle of the net and from position 4 but Mozambique improved through the block Soares and Augusto Cherinda to lead 16-14 by the STT.  As usual Gabon team reached the peak performance at the end of each set and they succeeded to use the efficient spikers Mbaindjou Lengouareni and Regis to win the set 25-22 and the match in straight sets.
Day two Programme: GMT +2
14:00  Mozambique vs. Morocco      Group B
16:00  Rwanda vs. Cameroon           Group A
18:00  Egypt vs. Tunisia                    Group B
20:00  South Africa Vs. Nigeria        Group A



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