Florence, Italy, October 9, 2010 - Argentina beat the Czech Republic in the ninth-place match of the FIVB Men's World Championship on Saturday, serving up a spectacular 3-1 victory (25-22, 18-25, 25-21, 25-22) at the Nelson Mandela Forum.
Three Argentina players reached 17 points as captain Rodrigo Quiroga, Facundo Conte and Federico Pereyra carried the attacking threat for the South Americans. The Czech attack was built around the efforts of Jan Stokr (18 points), Peter Platenik (17) and Jiri Popelka (14).
FIVB Men's World Championship 2010 official page
Argentina ended the match with 7-3 advantage at the net so it was fitting that they opened it with Martin Blanco Costa's winning block. They took an early lead through some great defensive work and at the First Technical Timeout were 8-5 in front. Javier Weber's men were impressing with their consistency and Conte delivered a powerful front shot to make it 13-9. Popelka did his best to rally the Czechs but they were undermined by receiving problems and Quiroga closed the set for Argentina at 25-22.
The Europeans stepped up a gear in the second set and led 8-6 at the First Technical Timeout (FTT). Pereyra tried to narrow the gap with a lightning front shot but the Czechs kept ahead with the help of Popelka and Platenik, who were defending and attacking superbly. With Stokr's torpedo spikes, they ran away with the set, winning 25-18.
The third set was an even affair. At the FTT, Argentina led 8-7 but the Czechs imposed themselves with some excellent defensive work and tied up the scores at 15-15 through Popelka. However, with Pablo Crer and Quiroga making vital contributions, Argentina opened up a lead at 22-19 before Conte shut the set down at 25-21.
The fourth set opened in similar fashion to the third before Argentina built an 8-5 lead at the FTT through a fabulous Crer attack. Jan Svoboda's team tried to respond through Popelka but Pereyra opened the gap to 19-15. The South Americans were now on top with Quiroga producing some fine touches down the stretch and when Platenik's torpedo spike went out of bounds, the victory was Argentina's at 25-22.