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FIVB Men's Olympic Games 2008

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Menís African Olympic Qualifications, Day 5: Tunisia secure the fourth ticket to semifinal

After the experience in the FIVB World Cup, Egypt looks for an Olympic berth

Durban, South Africa February 7, 2008 - Tunisia completed the final 4 teams qualified to the semifinal of the Africa Olympic qualification to determine continental representative in Beijing 2008 after the other three teams Egypt, Cameroon and Algeria have already secured semifinal berth before. Tunisia defeated Gabon in Pool B while Morocco lost their hopes of a semifinal ticket after losing against Egypt in the fifth and last day of the preliminary round here at Tongaat hall in Durban, South Africa on Thursday.
 In a tough match determining the first and second positions of pool A Algeria defeated Cameroon in one of the competitionís most exciting matches, while the organizers South Africa left the competition with a victory over Rwanda.
 At the end of pool stage Algeria led pool A followed by Cameroon and both qualified to the semifinal, then South Africa third, Nigeria fourth and Rwanda fifth. Egypt finished at the top of pool B followed by Tunisia and both qualified followed by Morocco third, Gabon fourth and Mozambique fifth.
 It is well known that the champions of this competition will secure the African Vacancy in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
 The matches were attended by CAVB President Dr. Amr Elwani, 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.
Cameroon vs. Algeria
 Algeria achieved a big surprise when they defeated Cameroon 3-1 (25-21, 25-21, 12-25, 25-19) in 91 minutes in the big match for the top of pool A. Algeria ended the pool stage at the first position with a win- loss ratio of 4-0 to and 8 points leaving Cameroon in the second position with a record of 3-1 and 7 points but both secured the semifinal tickets of the pool. Algeria was dominant in the match through their strong spike services which were not tolerated by the Cameroon team which was out of form.
Algeria started the match as the better side and they surprised Cameroon team with their potent service of Toufik Mahdjoubi, Ali Kerboua and Mohamed Chikhi to disturb their reception and defense. Cameroon bad reception was the main cause to lose the first set 25-21.
 In the second set Algeria concentrated on the attacks specially through the left attackers Kerboua and Chikhi so they kept their dominance all through until they won the set 25-21.
 Cameroon head coach Mayam Blaise made substitutions as he changed the setter Marcel Ndaki by the other setter George Kapi and also put the wing spiker Valery Tatsi in the squad instead of Wounembaina. They succeeded to rearrange their reception and backline defense to lead in most of the set and finished the set 25-21.
 In the fourth set the battle was very warm as Algeria used as usual their big gun Kerboua who used well the skillful setting of the setter Debbih Messaoud to lead 7-5. Cameroon rebounded through the spikes of Valery Tatsi and Wounembaina but Algeria led narrowly 8-7. Cameroon coach substituted the setter George Kari by Marcel Ndaki, but Algeria kept their dominance until they reached to 16-13 at the STT. Algeria used as usual the big guns Kerboua and Chikhi to increase the attacking pressure and widen the point deficit gradually. The service was also a big force for the Algerians who used the improper reception of Cameroon team and continued leading till they won the set 25-19 to win the match 3-1.
Morocco vs. Egypt
 Egypt continued their clear sheet and achieved their fourth victory in a row over Morocco 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-21) in 78 minutes. Egypt improved their win- loss ratio to 4-0 to lead Pool B with 8 points. Morocco dropped to 2-2 to finish the preliminary round in the third position with 6 points.
 Egypt head coach returned back to the standing line up after he played with the substitutes in the two matches against Gabon and Mozambique, while Morocco started with the usual squad. Egypt started using the strong spike service of Ahmed Salah and Saleh Fathy, and then Morocco improved their defense and block of Idriss Cherqi to stop the Egyptian spikes of El Safi and Fathy. Morocco led 8-6 at the FTT and kept their consistency until the draw 14-14 using the frequent mistakes of Egyptian players but Egypt returned back to lead 16-14 at the STT. Egypt with the better backline defense won the set 25-21.
  In the second set Egypt used the strong spike service of Salah and Fathy again to lead at the FTT 8-6. Morocco started to use the spikes of Zakaria Bairi to penetrate the Egyptian block and also the block of Idriss but Egypt again had the upper hand to lead 16-11. The Egyptian coach started to give the chance to some bench players but he still had the upper hand to win the set 25-17.
 Morocco showed different image in the third set through some substitutions made by their coach who pushed Hichem Esseddyq in position 3 and the setter Faiazid to improve their combinations that succeeded to put Morocco ahead in the STT 16-14. Egypt regained their rhythm and started to improve the block against Bairi and Abicha to draw 20-20. Egypt used again the big guns Salah to win the set 25-21.
Tunisia vs. Gabon
 Tunisia cut the last ticket to the semifinal following their win over Gabon 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-15) in 55 minutes. Tunisia ends the preliminary round in the second position of pool B to secure the second ticket of the pool in the semifinal after they raised their record to 3-1 with 7 points after Egypt. Gabon dropped to 1-3 to finish the pool matches in the fourth position. Tunisia played the first two sets with the standing line up but the head coach Kamel Rakaya made many substitutions in the third set when he secured the victory.
 Tunisia showed dominance in block through Chaker Ghezal and Bilel Ben Hussine and didnít allow Gabon spikers to work so Tunisia led all through the first set to win 25-15.
 The second set showed the same although Gabon tried to improve the reception to build up the attacks and to use their attackers Cedric Bekale and Bagafou Moundzerou but they were stopped by the Tunisian block.
 In the third set Tunisia made substitutions in the line up but they kept the momentum and succeeded to dominate the net with good job from the opposite Hichem Kaabi who led his team to win the set 25-15 and the match in straight sets. 
South Africa vs. Rwanda
 The host team South Africa improved their image in front of their spectators who attended their final match and clinched their competition second victory over Rwanda 3-1 (25-21, 25-22, 30-32, 31-29) after good show extending for 107 minutes. The winners improved their record to 2-2 to leave the competition in the third position of pool A with 6 points. Rwanda dropped to 0-4 and came at the bottom of the pool with 4 points.
 South Africa started the match more disciplined in backline defense and used the spikes of Freedom Chiya and Thokozani Ntuli to penetrate the Rwandan block and thus South Africa was ahead 8-4 at the FTT. Rwanda improved the defense and also the block of Guilermme Irakarama to decrease the point deficit to 16-15 by the STT. Rwanda kept the draw until 17-17 when Chiya and the setter Gershon Rorich led the team to win the set 25-21.
 Rwanda started the second set more active as the strong spikers Eric Nsabimana and Ndayi Kenruruki scored successive points and the block defended their court to reach 8-4 at the FTT.  South Africa again arranged their block and succeeded to overcome the Rwandan spikes and ended the set 25-22.
 The Rwandan team played their best in the third set as they deployed the solid block against the south African attacks all through the Marathon set util the most exciring part of the match when Rwanda led 24-21 but they missed two set points before the two teams continued the rally of points till Rwanda won 32-30.
 The highly motivated Rwandan team started the fourth set leading 8-5 after a group of spikes from Nsabimana. The right attacker of the host team did again his job in spiking from position 2 to allow his team to lead 14-12 and 16-13 the STT. Again Naidoo Leslie and Chiya did good job and saved more than set point for Rwanda to win the set long 31-29.

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)
Day 3
Egypt vs. Gabon                      Group B      3-0 (25-14, 25-21, 25-10)
Nigeria vs. Rwanda                 Group A      3-1 (17-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-17)
Tunisia vs. Mozambique          Group B      3-0 (25-13, 25-9, 25-12)
Algeria vs. South Africa          Group A      3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 26-24)
Day 4 
Morocco vs. Gabon                 Group B      3-0 (25-11, 25-19, 25-13)
Algeria vs. Rwanda                  Group A      3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-17)
Egypt vs. Mozambique             Group B      3-0 (25-11, 25-12, 25-18)
Cameroon vs. Nigeria               Group A      3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-21)
Day 5
Tunisia vs. Gabon                     Group B       3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-15)
Algeria vs. Cameroon               Group A       3-1 (25-21, 25-21, 21-25, 25-19)   
Egypt vs. Morocco                    Group B       3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-21)
South Africa vs. Rwanda          Group A       3-1 (25-21, 25-22, 30-32,31-29)

Final Ranking of Pools
Pool A
1. Algeria              8 points in 4 matches
2. Cameroon         7 points in 4 matches
3. South Africa     6 points in 4 matches
4. Nigeria              5 points in 4 matches
5. Rwanda             4 points in 4 matches
Pool B
1. Egypt                 8 points in 4 matches
2. Tunisia               7 points in 4 matches
3. Morocco            6 points in 4 matches
4. Gabon                5 points in 4 matches
5. Mozambique      4 points in 4 matches

Semifinal Programme: GMT +2
18:00  Algeria vs. Tunisia
20:00  Egypt vs. Cameroon



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