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Men's World Cup 2003 - Match description Info

Match description

U.S.A. beat France 3-1 (25-19, 20-25, 26-24, 28-26) - duration 1:46
30-Nov, start time: 12:30, end time: 14:16 - Attendance: 5,450
USA finish fourth..again
In the battle for fourth place, USA beat France in four sets in the opening match on Sunday to finish just outside the World Cup medals for a third successive time.

In seven World Cups USA have now claimed gold, bronze, four fourth-place finishes and a 10th, while France's fifth follows an 11th place finish in 1965.

With both sides having had confirmation that they were out of medal contention on Saturday, today's match was just for pride. Both teams now have to play Continental Olympic qualification tournaments in the New Year to claim their Athens ticket. It was no surprise then that France rested Frantz Granvorka, Mathias Patin and Philippe Barca-Cysique and the injured Oliver Kieffer.

Both sides gradually warmed up and it wasn't until Sebastien Frangolacci spiked wide, that one team held a genuine lead with USA up 15-12. Substitute Donald Suxho then came on to pull off a fantastic serve to make it 20-15 with his first touch. By this stage USA's tails were up and comfortably secured the first set when Stephane Antiga, who is in contention for the $50,000 top spiker award, ironically spiked out.

Neither team was in top gear come the second set and with mistakes ruling the match it was a case of France making fewer when they opened a 16-12 lead. More fancy footwork from libero Hubert Henno couldn't quite save a point but gave France a boost towards claiming the second set, which eventually arrived when Barca-Cysique spiked home.

While Laurent Capet was France's main attacking weapon, USA took an early third set lead at 16-11 through some great blocking from Riley Salmon and Ryan Miller. More injury woes for France when Dominique Daquin limped off holding his knee at 22-17 but this brought on Granvorka. Minutes later it was 23-21 when USA then watched France tie the set 24-24 before Brook Billings finally claimed the set for the Americans.

Although Daquin recovered from his injury to play the fourth set USA led throughout to seal the match when Capet spiked out.