Florence, Italy, October 9, 2010 - France clinched 11th place at the FIVB Men's World Championship final by beating Spain 3-1 (25-17, 25-23, 16-25, 25-21) at the Nelson Mandela Forum.
It was a deserved victory for Philippe Blain's side for whom Guillaume Samica led the scoring with 16 points, with Stephane Antiga adding another 14. Spain's Iban Perez, the leading scorer in the tournament heading into the match, scored a match-high 21 points despite being limited to just four in the first two sets. Manuel Sevillano added 14 points in his team's loss.
FIVB Men's World Championship 2010 official page
France started on the front foot as Romain Vadeleux and Antiga delivered lightning spikes to put them 4-1 in front. Spain's blockers were struggling to cope with France's front-line shots and at the First Technical Timeout (FTT) the score was 8-3. Julio Velasco's team were guilty of squandering points with serving faults and France duly extended their advantage to 13-6. Although Sevillano tried to narrow the gap, France still led 16-10 at the Second Technical Timeout (STT) and with Guillaume Samica maintaining their momentum with some fast spikes, Blain's men shut the set down in 24 minutes at 25-17.
The second set opened in more promising fashion for Spain with winning shots from Julian Garcia-Torres and Sevillano and some decent blocks. Although both sides were hampered by serving errors, the Spanish were 8-5 ahead at the FTT. France narrowed the deficit to 11-10 through the dynamic Pierre Pujol's passes and then took the lead at 18-16. Spain were fast losing their way in the set, making too many faults in attack with a series of forced shots, and France took full advantage to close the set at 25-23.
France took the lead in the third set through fine work by Samica but Spain responded with the help of Sevillano's blocks. As Les Tricolores laboured in attack, Velasco's men claimed a 13-9 lead, fired by Perez's powerful aces and Sevillano's torpedo spikes. Perez was now on fire and after Spain had stretched their lead to fully 10 points, they ran out 25-16 winners.
Perez continued carrying the fight to France at the beginning of the fourth set but France registered a three-point break before taking the lead at 8-6. Suddenly the Spanish were struggling for continuity in attack as Sevillano's shots failed to find their mark. France had the momentum and took control of the set at 23-17. Velasco called the last timeout, but it only delayed his side's defeat, France concluding their victory by taking the fourth set 25-21.