Florence, Italy, October 4, 2010 - Serbia swept away Argentina in four sets (25-15, 21-25, 25-22, 25-18) in a spectacular victory in the opening match of third round Pool P at the Nelson Mandela Forum in Florence.
Serbia, the world No4, underlined their ambitions to reach the FIVB Men's World Championship semifinals in Rome with Ivan Miljkovic top-scoring with 20 points followed by Nikola Kovacevic with 12 points. Argentina, ninth in the world, made 40 errors to Serbia's 24 while their chief scorers were Facundo Conte with 16 points and Federico Pereyra with 13.
FIVB Men's World Championship 2010 official page
Argentina were on the back foot from the start with head coach Javier Weber asking for a timeout with his team 5-1 down. It was to little avail as Serbia moved 9-4 ahead. Conte, whose father Hugo was sitting in the VIP stand, tried to animate his teammates in a match that was crucial to this young Argentina side's ambitions but they were guilty of too many errors, both serving and receiving. Serbia ran away with the set (25-15), with their opponents committing 11 hitting mistakes.
The second set opened in more even fashion and at the First Technical Timeout (FTT) the score was 8-6 in Serbia's favour. Weber's team responded with some spectacular attacks by Conte and with Pereyra's ace at the Second Technical Timeout (STT), the score stood at 16-15 to Serbia. Argentina had now found a rhythm and, with a splendid block from Pablo Crer, their middle blocker, they evened the match in taking the set 25-21 with 54 percent of their attacks converted.
The third set developed into a point-by-point fight and Argentina were 8-7 up at the FTT. Conte's fantastic blocks and Serbia's serving faults seemed to have given Argentina the advantage with Igor Kolakovic's men struggling. But Serbia's class eventually told and with some effective attacks – they had a third-set rate of 65 percent – they levelled the score at 20-20. When Dragan Stankovic made a spectacular block, the set was theirs at 25-22. The fourth set was more straightforward for Serbia, who led 17-12 and continued to pile up the points with Argentina guilty of too many receiving and defensive errors. The Europeans concluded their victory 25-18 to go top of Pool P.