Milan, Italy, October 1, 2010 – Spain, Mexico and Cameroon, ranked 37, 26 and 21 in the world respectively, will make their debuts in the second round of the FIVB Men’s World Championship 2010 in Italy as the second day of this crucial phase features six decisive match ups across the six pools with all teams knowing a win is crucial in order to help to advance to the third round. In Catania Italy play Germany in Pool G while in Pool I Russia take on Spain, in Milan Cuba play Mexico in Pool H with France playing Japan in Pool M and USA play Cameroon in Pool A while Bulgaria and Poland face off in Pool N in Ancona.
The top two out of three teams in each pool will advance to the third round, which will take place from October 4-6, before the semifinals from October 8-9 and the finals on October 9-10.
Pool I in Catania
Oct 1: Spain v Russia 5pm
Russia, who has an 11:3 win:loss record against Spain, will be looking to guarantee their place in the next round when they take on Spain in Catania. The 2010 FIVB World League runners-up are unbeaten after four matches and scored an easy straight sets win over Egypt on Thursday. A solid win tonight will mean they can begin preparations for the next round. However, Spain will also be looking to begin their second round quest on the right foot and despite a mixed first round where they lost to Cuba and Brazil before beating Tunisia, they will be hoping to repeat their 2007 European Championship feat of beating Russia in the final when they won the continental crown.
Pool G in Catania
Oct 1: Germany v Italy 9pm
The hosts Italy have won 14 out of 25 encounters against Germany but Germany will have all the momentum following their straight sets win over Puerto Rico on Thursday. Italy topped their pool in the first round with wins over Japan, Iran and Egypt, but will have to raise their game after Germany who battled through a tough group, losing to Poland and Serbia before beating Canada. If the visitors win they will guarantee themselves a place in the next round but a loss would see their hopes of qualification decided in Saturday's match between Italy and Puerto Rico.
Pool M in Milan
Oct 1: Japan v France 5pm
France are now in a fight for survival after their disappointing 3-1 loss to Argentina on Thursday. The world No. 12 now face Japan, also ranked 12th in the world, and will have to win to have any chance of reaching the third round. They will have history on their side as they have beaten Japan 18 times, losing only five matches. However the last time the two sides met in FIVB competition, in the 2007 FIVB World League, Japan were the side on top for the first time in eight games, with a 3-1 win in Tokyo.
Pool H in Milan
Oct 1: Mexico v Cuba 9pm
Cuba were devastated not to have beaten Serbia in their first match of the second round on Thursday after progressing through the first round unbeaten. Cuba, ranked 8th in the world, will need to beat Mexico, ranked 26th, to have any chance of reaching round three, and will be looking to do it convincingly to make sure that there are no hiccups when Mexico meet Serbia in the final match of the group. The two teams have met twice in the past, at the 1974 and 1978 World Championships, with Cuba picking up straight set victories on both occasion.
Pool N in Ancona
Oct 1: Bulgaria v Poland 5pm
In a rematch of the 2006 FIVB Men’s World Championship semifinal, Bulgaria and Poland will square off in Ancona as both sides look to gain the upper hand in Pool N. Poland suffered a straight sets loss to defending champions Brazil on Thursday and will be looking to bounce back to stay in the tournament. The two sides have a varied history, with Bulgaria just edging Poland with 22 wins to 18, but Poland have won the last five matches between the two countries including in 2006 which was won 3-1.
Pool L in Ancona
Oct 1: Cameroon v USA 9pm
The success story of the FIVB Men’s World Championship Cameroon will take on USA in what, on paper, looks like an easy win for the Olympic champions. Cameroon beat Australia to advance to the second round for their first pool win in a World Championships. Their qualifying record was three wins from three but their FIVB tournament record isn’t inspiring with only a consolation final win against Venezuela at the 2006 Men’s World Championship to their name from 13 matches. The two teams have only played each other twice in the past with the world No. 3 Americans claiming victory in both matches.