France beat Greece 3-2 (29-27, 22-25, 25-20, 21-25, 15-13) - duration 2:20
12-Jul, start time: 21:00, end time: 23:20 - Attendance: 3,300 France outlasts Greece to retain perfect record in WL 2002
Greece was 1-2 down and trailing 4-8 in the fourth set, when head coach Stelios Prosalikas made three crucial substitutions, bringing in setter Theodoros Bozidis for Vassilis Kournetas, Elias Lappas for Todor Baev and Yorgos Drakovic for top scorer Nikos Roumeliotis. The upheaval of the team was enough to turn the set around and allow Greece to force a tie-break. But France held back, despite a slow start in the fifth set, to emerge from the match victorious and retain a perfect record of five victories in as many matches so far in Pool D of the Intercontinental Round of this 2002 World League.
Previously, France had cancelled four set balls of the Greek team in the first set, to come away with a 27-29 victory. However, Greece found the strength in the second set to tie the overall score at 1-1, much to the delight of the over 3,000-strong partisan crowd.
The fifth set was as close as could be, with France coming back in the opening points to widen its lead to as much as 7-10. Greece came back to tie at 10-10, but in the end the French side proved calm enough in its game to clinch the crucial final two points after 13-13.
Greece's excellent blocking was still no match for France's defending --and on top of that as many as 19 service errors from the home team may have cost the match in the end.