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FIVB Men's Olympic Games 2008

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Menís African Qualifications, Day 2: Egypt defeated Tunisia in the early final

Egypt team wins the big African derby

Durban, South Africa February 4, 2008 - In a day full of thrills that made the spectators on their toes for more than 8 hours and showing 2 tie breaks, Egypt defeated Tunisia in an early final of the African Olympic Qualifications during the second day of the prestigious event here at Tongaat Hall in Durban, South Africa on Monday. The Organizers South Africa also fought for more than to hours to bring a valuable victory over Nigeria. Cameroon continued their winning rhythm and achieved the second victory over Rwanda to lead pool A, while Morocco achieved the first victory over Mozambique.
 The matches were attended by CAVB first Vice president and South Africa Volleyball Federation President Mr. Tubby Reddy, CAVB Vice president Mr. Baba Sy and Control Committee members Mr. Camilo Antao, CAVB Referee committee president Mr. Hassan Ahmed and CAVB Technical director Mrs. Howyda Mondy.
Egypt vs. Tunisia
 It was really a match of a world class when Egypt fought for 123 minutes to clinch a very difficult victory over Tunisia 3-2 (27-25, 29-27, 20-25, 23-25, 16-14) after marvelous performance from both teams. Egypt won their first match to make their win- loss ratio 1-0 while Tunisia dropped to 1-1. Both teams played a historic game in what is called an early final for the competition between the two big arc rivals.
 Egypt Head Coach Ahmed Zakaria was very happy to clinch the victory in the dead time of the tiebreak. ďWe played well in the first and second sets but the performance retarded in the third set so I had to make many substitutions,Ē said Zakaria cheerfully after the match. ďIím happy with the performance of our star Ahmed Salah and the team captain Hamdy El Safi who did their best all through the MarathonĒ he added.
 The match showed irritable start from both team which results in missing many services until Egypt started to use the potent weapon Ahmed Salah in position 2 and also with his spike services to lead 8-5 at the first technical time out (FTT). Egyptian block of Mohamed Ali and Hossam Shaarawy succeeded to be a big barrier against the Tunisian rockets from all net positions so Egypt led 11-7, but again Tunisia worked well with the right attacker Hichem Kaabi to lead 12-11. Egypt recovered and reached to 16-14 at the STT. They lost many critical points through service errors and Tunisia led 22-20 before the Egyptian players returned back with the spikes of Hamdy El Safi and Ahmed Salah to win the set narrowly 27-25 after two mistakes from the Tunisians.
 The second set showed more activity from the Egyptian players specially Ahmed Salah who sent his rockets from position 2 aided by the impermeable block of Shaaray and El Safi to lead 8-4. The Tunisian coach Kamel Rekaya substituted his right attacker Kaabi by Hosni Karamosly to regain their strength by the net and lead 14-13 before Egypt scored two points by the experienced captain El Safi to reach 16-14 at the STT. Tunisian made another substitution by pushing Skander Ben Tara in position 3 so Tunisia reached to the draw 19-19. The draw continued till 23-23 as both coaches made many substitutions until Egypt won the set 29-27.
 Tunisia started the third set with the line up that ended the second set as Karamosli did well in spiking from position 2 and serving and that allowed Tunisia to lead 8-4 at the FTT. Egypt regained their rhythm and decreased the point deficit gradually to 15-14 before Tunisia reached to 16-14 at the STT. Tunisia used the powerful spikes of Marouane Fehri and Ben Brik with the adjusted backline defense to win the set 25-20.
 The Egyptian coach Ahmed Zakaria pushed Saleh Fathy in the squad but Tunisia was the better side specially in backline defense to lead 8-6. Again Egypt returned back to the match with the unstoppable hits of Salah till Egypt got the draw 9-9. Tunisia again became the dominant side through the spikes of Ben Brik in position 4 till they reached to 16-14 at the STT. Tunisia continued with more motivations to win the set 25-23 and extend the match to tiebreak.
 In the tiebreak the set started point by point till the draw 3-3 as Tunisia depended on the spike and tactical services while Egypt depended on the experienced El Safi. Again Karamoli led Tunisia to lead 6-3 before the Egyptian head coach asked for a time out to adjust the defense but Tunisia was leading at the turn 8-6. El Safi again allowed Egypt to lead 12-10 before Saleh Fathy scored a critical point to lead 14-12. Ben Brik spiked well so Tunisia drew 14-14 before Fathy again scored the winning point 16-14 to end the Marathon 3-2.
Nigeria vs. South Africa
 The organizers South Africa had to fight for more than two hours to bring a very important victory over Nigeria 3-2 (25-20, 18-25, 25-19, 26-28, 15-10). The hostsí stars specially the setter Gershon Rorich, Golschmidt and Ntuli did their best all through the match and made the difference in the critical points. 
 The big spectator attendance enhanced the host team to a great start enhanced the host team to a great start as they controlled their defense against the Nigerian attacks and also did well in the attack through the skillful setting through the experienced setter Gershon Rotich and also the spikers Klostermann and Thokozani Ntuli. South Africa had an early lead 8-6 before reaching to 16-10 at the STT. Nigeria struggled through the potent service of Emmanuel Jatto and the spikes of the left attacker Isaac Ijigba but South Africa was better in all net actions to win the set 25-20.
 Nigeria started the second set in a better performance and succeeded to lead 8-4 at the FTT through the proper setting by Sunday Yunana, but quickly the South African regained the rhythm through the block of Naidoo Lesile and the spikes of Freedom Chiya to reach to the draw 14-14. Nigeria again becomes dominant through the net to lead 16-14, then 19-15 after frequent reception and digging mistakes then they continued the same till they won the set 25-18.
 South Africa regained their concentration in the third set and through the efficient block of Patrick Klostermann they succeeded to have the lead using the unstable state of the Nigerian block. The hosts penetrated the Nigerian block several. Times until they led 16-10. The setter Rorich succeeded to lead the combinations that deceived the Nigerian defense and allowed his team to end the set comfortably 25-19.
 The Egyptian head coach of South Africa Abdel Hamid El Wassimy made some substitutions to keep the teamís rhythm but it was Nigeria that reached to 8-7 at the FTT through their efficient libero Aoamu Mohamed. Nigeria used also the errors done by the South Afruican players to continue leading 12-9. The left handed left attacker Goldschmidt did well with Klostermann and Ntuli but Nigeria kept ahead in score 16-13. South Africa sruggled to win the set as the match star Chiya and his colleagues did their best until the draw 24-24 till 26-26 when the Nigerian players used their experience to win the set 28-26 and extend the match to tiebreak.
 South Africa started the tiebreak leading 6-2 through the potent spikes from Ntuli with the aid of the block of Golschmidt. Nigeria tried to save the match but they committed many mistakes the cost them losing the set 15- and the match 3-2.
Rwanda vs. Cameroon
 The lions of Cameroon overwhelmed their match against Rwanda and clinched an easy victory 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-17) in 66 minutes. The winner succeeded to use the strong hits and spike services that disturbed the Rwandan defense and prevented them from applying their attacking strategy. Cameroon improves their record to 2-0, while Rwanda becomes 0-1.
 Cameroon head coach Mayam Blaise was happy to achieve the second victory in a raw. ďWe are optimistic now to clinch the African Olympic vacancy and we will do our best to achieve this dream. I think we confirmed today that we are coming towards one target, the Olympic ticketĒ. 
 Cameroon had a powerful start through their well known strong attacks through the wing spikers Nathan Wounembaina and Jean Patrice Ndaki and succeeded to lead 8-6. They used their strong spike service to disturb the Rwandan reception and continued leading 16-12 at the STT. The improper reception was the most important problem for Rwanda and that was used well by Cameroon to win the first set 25-18.
 Cameroon continued using the powerful spikes of El Hadj Abbas and Moussa and Jean Nziemi although Rwanda tried to improve the block through the centers Alphonse Nsengiumra and Goma Yakan so the lions led 16-11 and continued the lead till the end of the set widely 25-15.
 Rwanda players tried their best in the third set as they improved the reception and digging which allowed them to build up the attacks to Yakan and Flavian Njamvrunda to lead for the first time 8-5 at the FTT. Quickly Cameroon regained their consistency as the center Jean Ndaki started to do good job from position 3 aided by the skilful setter Marcel Ndaki so they regained also the lead 16-12 at the STT. It was easy for Cameroon to end the set 25-17 and the match 3-0.
Mozambique vs. Morocco
 Morocco played much better than the opening day and pulled of the competition first victory over Mozambique 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-12) in 59 minutes in Pool B to improve their record to 1-1 while Mozambique dropped to 0-2. The winner used well the skills of the key players to have the lead all through the match except once in the third set.
 Morocco head coach Idrissi Alami was happy with his teamís performance specially the setter Faiazid and the spiker Zakaria Bairi who did better than the first match. ďWe are improving from match to match because we didnít have enough preparations and today we did well all through the match. We hope to improve more in the coming matchesĒ he said.
 Morocco started the match in a better performance than their first match as they had better block through Mohssine Berdade and also stronger spikes through Zakaria Bairi and Mohamed Abicha and it was easy to lead 8-4 and then 16-8. Mozambique started to enter the game after the second technical timeout when they arranged their block and backline defense and used the strong spikes of Delcio Soares to score successive points that decreased the point deficit to 20-15. Morocco regained the rhythm through Bairi and Khalid Satour to win the set 25-16.
 Soares led Mozambique in the second set to a great performance through his efficient hits and his team led 8-6 for the first time at the FTT. Morocco woke up and their good reception allowed them to score 10 successive points against only one point for Mozambique and the result was 16-9 at the STT. The efficient setter Hicham Faiazid led Morocco with his skills to win the set 25-15.
 Morocco started the third set with the strategy of fast attacks through the centers and they succeeded to widely lead 8-2. They continued their superiority in all net actions to extend their lead to 16-8 after a group of spikes from Bairi and Satour. It went easily afterwards to the Moroccan side to win the set 25-12 and the match in straight sets.

Day 1
Gabon vs. Mozambique          Group B    3-0 (25-16, 25-23, 25-22)
Nigeria vs. Algeria                  Group A   0-3 (19-25, 13-25, 20-25)
Morocco vs. Tunisia                Group B   0-3 (18-25, 20-25, 16-25)
South Africa vs. Cameroon     Group A   0-3 (17-25, 19-25, 22-25)
Day 2
Mozambique vs. Morocco      Group B   0-3 (16-25, 15-25, 12-25) 
Rwanda vs. Cameroon           Group A   0-3 (18-25, 15-25, 17-25)
Egypt vs. Tunisia                    Group B   3-2 (27-25, 29-27, 20-25, 23-25, 16-14)
South Africa vs. Nigeria        Group A    3-2 (25-20, 18-25, 25-19, 26-28, 15-10)

Pool A
1. Cameroon         4 points in 2 matches
2. South Africa     3 points in 2 matches
3. Algeria              2 points in 1 match
4. Nigeria              2 points in 2 matches
5. Rwanda            1 point in one match
Pool B
1. Tunisia              3 points in 2 matches
2. Morocco            3 points in 2 matches
3. Egypt                2 points in 1 match
4. Gabon               2 points in 1 match
5. Mozambique     2 points in 2 matches

Day 3 Programme: GMT +2
14:00  Egypt vs. Gabon                      Group B
16:00  Nigeria vs. Rwanda                 Group A
18:00  Tunisia vs. Mozambique          Group B
20:00  Algeria vs. South Africa          Group A



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