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Men's World Cup 2003 - Match description Info

Match description

Venezuela beat China 3-1 (23-25, 25-22, 28-26, 25-20) - duration 1:48
28-Nov, start time: 12:35, end time: 14:23 - Attendance: 281
Venezuela Survive Tough Test against China
Venezuela survived a stern test in their opening Round Four match of the World Cup and had to fight back from a set down to defeat China 3-1 at Site B in Tokyo. The South Americans secured their third victory from nine World Cup games 23-25, 25-22, 28-26, 25-20, while China slipped to their eighth defeat.

In a scrappy opening, neither team was able to gain the initiative. However, Venezuela gifted their opponents too many points from service errors, and were unable to take advantage of the attacking of captain Ernardo Gomez and Carlos Luna.

At 16-16, the set was wide open. Venezuela continued to make mistakes, allowing China to take a 22-20 lead, but a penalty against them for lifting and a Carlos spike leveled the scores again at 23-23. Two further errors from Venezuela, the second one positional, gifted China the first set.

China appeared more settled at the start of the second, with the offense of Tang Miao especially effective. But Venezuela moved 10-6 ahead courtesy of consecutive spikes from Gomez.

A block and spike from substitute Li Hang helped China to level at 14-14, before a similar double from Carlos and block from Gomez helped reclaim a 19-15 advantage for Venezuela. Although the Chinese closed the gap to 21-20, Venezuela held on to level the match with some good work from Ivan Marquez.

A sloppy start to the third by Venezuela allowed China to take a 10-6 lead. Venezuela responded and moved 16-15 ahead off a Thomas Ereu spike, only for some superb attacking from Hu Song and a Li Hang ace to swing the advantage China's way at 20-18. But Venezuela showed fighting spirit to save three set points before claiming the set.

Venezuela's confidence was growing and they established a 9-4 lead early in the fourth. Hu fought hard for China but he was unable to stop Venezuela sealing the match with another Marquez block.