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Men's World Championship 2002 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

Portugal beat Australia 3-1 (25-20, 25-27, 25-21, 29-27) - duration 2:01
30-Sep, start time: 18:40, end time: 20:41 - Attendance: 3,500
Portugal virtually qualifies for second round
Both teams started out at an even pace, with Australia only a point ahead at the first technical time out.
But with the European side dramatically improved its blocking, with Jose Joao showing particularly good form, Australia began to struggle against the Portuguese wall and lost concentration as the pressure mounted.
Though Portugal lost several service points, as it did Sunday night against China, Nuno Pinheiro's precise setting facilitated his team's offensive.
Australia's Hidde Van Beest scored 6 points, a 50% efficiency, but it wasn't enough to change the course for Jon Uriarte's team.

The second set began much the same way as the end of first, with Australia unable to get a grip on its blocking and Portugal pulling ahead thanks to its superior attack. Portugal's star Hugo Gaspar scored five points before the first technical time out and added several more throughout the rest of the set with an efficiency of 75% and a total of nine points in his personal count.
The Aussies started focusing on their blocking but their reception began to suffer as a result.
Though the pressure caused them to make several mistakes, an timely time-out requested by Uriarte led to a sudden and significant improvement in every aspect of Australia's play, with the Down Under team scoring six consecutive points to even the score 23-23. With effective and collective play, the Australians found the answer to Portugal's attack and clinched the up-and-down set with an ace by Brett Alderman.

In the third set, a remarkable performance by setter Pinheiro proved key in Portugal's offense.
And though Australia kept improving its blocking and defense, it was not enough against Portugal's precise and strong spiking. And despite losing seven points due to poor serving, the European side's attack allowed it to lock up the set.

At the beginning of the fourth, the teams remained neck-and-neck, with Portugal just a point ahead at the first technical time out. Cuban Juan Diaz's Portuguese side focused its attack through zone 4 w