Verona, Italy, September 27, 2010 - Spain overwhelmed Tunisia 3-1 (25-23, 25-22, 25-27, 25-23) to finish third in Pool B and reach the second round of the 2010 FIVB Men’s World Championship in front of 4,000 spectators at the PalaOlimpia. Tunisia exit the competition after their third defeat.
FIVB Men's World Championship 2010 official page
Kaabi Hichem of Tunisia opened the scoring in the first set as Spain started with a number of errors before Juliàn Garcia Torres levelled the scores at 4-4. But by the first technical timeout (TTO) Tunisia led 8-5 and, after Kaabi had once again evaded the Spanish block, this became 10-7. Spain managed to draw level at 15-15 but Tunisia stole the lead once more at 16-15 ahead of the second TTO. Manuel Sevillano’s spike equalised for Spain at 17-17 but Spain continued to struggle while Tunisia were on top of their game and Spanish coach Julio Verlasco was obliged to call a timeout with his team trailing 20-17. Whatever he said did the trick as Spain rallied, levelled at 21-21 before Sergio Noda and Torres gave them a 23-21 lead. Ismail Moalla’s block helped Tunisia get back to 23-23 but Torres and Ibàn Perez closed out the set in favour of Spain, 25-23.
Tunisia went 3-2 up at the start of the second set thanks to excellent defence by libero Anouer Taouerghi and the attacking prowess of Aymen Karoui. Moalla’s ace made it 7-5 but Spain turned it around to lead 8-7 at the first TTO. Sevillano then made it 9-7 for Spain but by the second TTO Tunisia were just ahead, 16-15. Then Spain’s Jorge Fernandez stepped up to the plate and his block gave Spain a 21-19 lead and they closed out the set after a service error from Tunisia’s Ahmed Kadhi.
The two teams were neck and neck at the start of the third set with Spain 8-7 up at the first TTO.
Kaabi then scored to make it 9-9 and Kadhi’s spike levelled matters once more at 14-14. By the second TTO Spain led 16-15 and Jordi Gens, on for Perez, served at 19-17 but a well-organised Tunisia fought their way back to 19-19 and then 21-21. The estimable Kaabi then saved two match points before Tunisia took the set, 27-25.
A resurgent Spain took a 3-1 lead at the beginning of the fourth set but successful spikes from Kaabi kept the Spanish lead to 5-4 and by the first TTO Tunisia were leading 8-7. Another Kaabi attack increased the lead to 10-8 but a powerful spike from Perez saw Spain complete a turnaround to lead 13-11 and by the second TTO it was 16-14 to Spain. A wonderful switch and attack from Marouen Garci took Tunisia 18-16 up but Sevillano led Spain back to 20-16. Tunisia then saved three match points before Sevillano closed out the match at 25-23.