Netherlands beat Cuba 3-1 (25-22, 25-20, 24-26, 25-23) - duration 1:46
26-Jul, start time: 20:40, end time: 22:26 - Attendance: 5,500 The Netherlands Qualified, Cuba Eliminated.
The Netherlands Team ensured its ticket to the next round by beating the home team in a close match where the Cubans showed their best form during the third set with a victory after some dramatic moments. The Netherlanders relied on the strong offensive by Richard Shuil and Guido Gortzen, who lashed out with a deadly array of accurate spikes during the match, while Cuban player Tomás Aldazábal fought hard to add points to his already impressive tally on the tournament's best scorer list. The young Cuban team was again enthusiastically supported by thousands of enthusiasts who staunchly backed it up in each action at the Sports City Hall but had serious problems at reception and defense on the field and struggled to maitain an effective block. . Cuba brought on rookie Maikel Salas for setter Alain Roca in teh second set, while Tomás Aldazábal also went to the bench in the middle of the second set. Although goping down to the Dutch, the Cubans still illustrated their potential to reach top levels. The Dutch appeared a little uncordianted in the open phase but imemdiately settled and were able to capitalize on advantages as they presented themselves and soon rejuvinated their better offensive combinations. This was the six victory by the Black Tulips, Netherlands, and the Cubans with jsut two victories and seven defeats are luckless in the tournament. /mh