Catania, Italy, October 1, 2010 – Hosts Italy rose to the occasion in front of more than 5,000 partisan spectators at the PalaCatania to claim a 3-1 (21-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-18) victory over Pool G rivals Germany in their opening second-round game at the FIVB Men's World Championship.
The hosts outblocked Germany 12-2 and held a 4-3 edge on service winners. Simone Parodi led the winners with 20 points, including three blocks, and Luigi Mastrangelo contributed four blocks among his eight points. Other Italians in double figures were Cristian Savani and Michal Lasko with 15 and 13 respectively. With 16 points, Robert Kromm top-scored for Germany, with Gyorgy Grozer – the star man in the win over Puerto Rico – and Bjorn Andrae recording 11 apiece.
Parodi delivered a spike and lob as Italy took a 6-3 lead in the first set, prompting Germany coach Raul Lozano to call for a timeout following three serving mistakes from his side. The Azzurri moved 8-6 ahead but, following the First Technical Timeout (FTT), Mastrangelo made an error on a serve and Alessandro Fei failed on an attack. Kromm put Germany in front with two attacks, Fei drew Italy level and a close battle ensued. At 14-14, Parodi scored from the back line and Valerio Vermiglio blocked for 16-14 but a series of Italian errors let Germany get on top. At 23-18, home coach Andrea Anastasi replaced Fei with Lasko and he made an impact. But though Kromm was blocked once, he tried again and landed for 24-20. Germany failed with their first set-point ball but Kromm's winning attack made it 25-21.
In the second set, Grozer gave Germany the early initiative before Italy hit back with the help of Mastrangelo's block from Kromm and a Savani lob. After a Fei attacking error, Italy went into the FTT trailing by two points but they recovered well and when Grozer committed a serve error at 13-14, the Azzurri were ahead by two points. Mastrangelo blocked Kromm before the Second Technical Timeout (STT) to extend the lead to three points, then Savani scored with a crossed spike from the back and Italy ran away with the set. Lasko claimed the first set point and Max Gunthor's service error sealed his team's fate.
In the third set Germany led by a point at the FTT but Lasko again helped to spark the home side and two aces by Savani meant Italy were ahead by the STT. Germany coach Lozano tried to change the game by replacing Simon Tischer with Patrick Steuerwald and the tension rose as Germany levelled at 19-19. When Grozer was blocked, however, Italy collected two consecutive points for 21-19. The momentum was with the hosts as Mastrangelo blocked Andrae and with the Germans making unforced errors, Italy ended up winning 25-19.
Lozano gave his setter Steuerwald a vote of confidence by putting him back on the court again for the fourth set. Italy reached the FTT leading 8-7 and with Parodi performing superbly, they were five points ahead by the second pause. Savani scored with a high ball and, after Jochen Schops had come on in Grozer's place, the Italy No11 added another point with his serve, widening the advantage to 22-16. Parodi then got past the block with a lob and Lasko took Italy to 24 points. Lozano put Tischer back in the game for Germany but their defeat was confirmed by Schops' service error.
FIVB Press Department Director - Richard Baker
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