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Men's World Championship 2002 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

Portugal beat China 3-1 (16-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-11) - duration 1:33
29-Sep, start time: 11:13, end time: 12:46 - Attendance: 3,200
The Great Wall of Portugal Prevails
In Group A action at the Aldo Cantoni stadium in San Juan, the Great Wall of China proved no match for powerful Portugal, which overcame the Asian side in an hour and a half.
In an evenly-balanced start, Portugal showed great confidence in attack, combining effective deep, diagonal balls and spiking by its outside hitters. In contrast, several unforced errors and poor serving also cost the team valuable points.
After the second technical time out, with the Asian team leading 18-12, the Great Wall of China consistently blocked every attack attempt by its opponents to secure the opening set.
However, in the second set, China's wall began to crack.
Though Portugal's central area encountered reception problems, its effective blocking lifted it to a 16-13 lead. Di Anhe's team felt the pressure from the crowd, which began supporting Portugal.
With Eurico Peixoto on court, the action really started and Manuel Fernando Silva became increasingly effective on the attack, scoring 5 points (100%). Nuno Pinheiro closed the set with an ace.
The Chinese were clearly nervous in the third set, surrendering several big points due to unforced errors. The Portuguese struggled with their serve but were able to score with powerful diagonal spikes.
The European side's triple blocking made the difference, however, creating a six-point gap between the two teams, which the Chinese were unable to close.
The fourth set basically went the same way, with China still unable to reproduce its level from the opening set and succumbing to nerves.
Portugal's Hugo Gaspar and Ubirajara Pereira were key players in the final moments of the match.
Portugal and Argentina now top the Group A rankings with two points apiece, while Australia and China remain winless.
/ajm