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Men's World Cup 2003 - Match description Info

Match description

Serbia & Montenegro beat Italy 3-1 (25-18, 21-25, 30-28, 25-22) - duration 1:35
30-Nov, start time: 15:00, end time: 16:35 - Attendance: 10,110
Blue Team victory hands title to Brazil
Despite already being confirmed as bronze medalists Serbia and Montenegro gained the consolation of beating Italy in their final match and in the process handed Brazil the 2003 World Cup title.

The victory brought the Olympic champions level on points with Italy, with nine victories from 11 games, to deny the European champions the chance of drawing level with World Cup leaders Brazil, who, with 10 successive victories, play Japan in their final game. Italy collect the silver medal on set ratio.

With the final three World Cup places practically in concrete, this game was all down to pride so both teams gave their younger players a run which made for a fascinating encounter. Serbia and Montenegro inparticular, showed some great talent with MIP Bojan Janic elusive on the serve and setter Ivan Ilic finding the regular artillery in Ivan Miljkovic and Andrea Geric comfortably. In a great set point, Goran Vujevic finally blocked to seal the first set after a superb rally.

The old guard of Paolo Cozzi and Andrea Giani got Italy back into the game at 5-1 up in the second set and some great play from setter Valerio Vermiglio helped them keep their noses in front at 16-14. Luca Tencati spiked home to make it 24-21 before Francesco Biribanti smashed home the winner to tie the game up.

The powerful right hander was again instrumental in giving Italy the lead at 12-10 with a superb block before two successive serves gave Italy a 22-18 break. But towering Andrea Geric pulled off three superb plays - block and two tips to pull Serbia and Montenegro back to 23-21 before an unbelievable error, when libero Damiano Pippi let a ball drop into court, made the score 23-22. Geric blocked again to tie the game up before two over-aggressive spikes from Alberto Cisolla completed an amazing Serbia and Montenegro comeback.

Miljkovic came into his own in the fourth set, scoring a massive 24 points for the match to lead Serbia and Montenegro home and in the process overtake Takahiro Yamamoto as the leading World Cup scorer.