Greece beat France 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-23) - duration 1:20
14-Jul, start time: 21:00, end time: 22:20 - Attendance: 3,900 Greece hands France its first WL 2002 defeat
Greece finally got its serving right and shut out France 3-0, splitting the double header of the 3rd weekend of the Intercontinental Round of the 2002 World League. Exceptional setting by Vassilis Kournetas and a brilliant performance by Todor Baev set the pace for Greece.
The home team thrashed France 25-12 in the first set, scoring as many as seven aces in this opening set. Greece slowed down after that and allowed France to gain a slight early lead in the second set. But after 9-10, the pace picked up again and Greece took the initiative to lead by as much as 5 points at 18-13 and kept this lead through to the end. It was much closer in the third, as France briefly led throughout and even came close at staying alive in the game, at 20-22. Greece rallied to tie the score at 22-22 and from 22-23 finished off the match with an attack by Nikos Roumeliotis, a yellow card to Hubert Henno and another attack by Todor Baev, as almost 4,000 fans went wild with ecstasy.
Greece has now narrowed the gap in the standings to one point short of leaders France and remains string in the race for a berth in the final eight of the competition, next month in Brazil --despite still having to take on the Olympic champions, Yugoslavia, next week again at home, and then travelling to France.