Florence, Italy, October 8, 2010 - In the second match of the FIVB Men's World Championship 9-12 classification semifinal round, Czech Republic earned a straight-set win (25-21, 25-20, 25-16) over a France side who failed to show their best face. Oliver Kieffer and company lacked a finishing touch against a Czech team who were on top throughout.
With their victory, the Czech Republic will play Argentina for ninth place on Saturday at 9pm. France, who had edged the Czechs in five sets in their opening game at this championship, will conclude their campaign by playing Spain for 11th place in a match starting at 5pm.
FIVB Men's World Championship 2010 official page
Czech Republic produced a balanced score sheet, led by Peter Platenik and Jan Stokr with 17 points, while Jiri Popelka added 16. Nicolas Marechal was France's top scorer with 12. The Czechs converted 50 of 88 attack attempts for a 56.8 per cent ratio while holding a dominating 50-29 advantage in attack points. Jan Svoboda's men also held a 7-5 edge in blocks.
Romain Vadeleux with a killing shot signed the first point of the match, and at the First Technical Timeout France led 8-6 before the Czechs tied the score at 18-18. Both teams were attacking and receiving well with Platenik from one side and Vadeleux the other but it was the Czechs who seized the crucial opportunities in the final part of the set and with a final attacking error by France, they closed the set at 25-21.
The Czechs cruised ahead in the first part of the second set as France failed to conclude several key points. Thanks to two attacking errors by the Czechs, Philippe Blain's team were able to narrow the gap and at the First Technical Timeout (FTT) the score was 8-5. Yet the Czech Republic stretched the lead with a lightning block and a marvellous pipe as they began establishing a rhythm. At the Second Technical Timeout (STT) the score was 16-12 and France only fell further behind. With the setting of Lukas Tichacek and Platenik's killing front shot, the Czechs ran away with the set at 25-20.
In the third set the Czechs continued down the same one-way street as Svoboda's team showed their superiority in both attack and receiving. France were still making errors on both serve and block, allowing their opponents to build a 13-8 advantage. At the STT it was 16-8 and when Stokr hammered a couple of torpedo spikes, the match seemed over. France made a late attempt to fight back but with a Guillaume Samica error, it was all over.