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World League 2002 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

Poland beat Portugal 3-1 (26-28, 25-21, 25-20, 25-22) - duration 2:01
02-Aug, start time: 19:10, end time: 21:11 - Attendance: 8,700
Poland books their ticket to Brazil
Poland's trip to the finals, especially the last phase, was not easy. Portugal applied early pressure and led throughout the first set until, thanks to Murek's serves, the Poles took a slight advantage. Portugal then defended 3 set balls, and then, when they had the advantage, seized the lead. The Poles gained an early advantage in the second set, holding on grimly until the end to draw level with Portugal. It was the same story in the third set, but a smattering of errors by the visitors put the home side in front. Showing plenty of grit, the Portuguese then ran up a five-point lead to 10-5, but Poland brought on Wagner as a first setter instead of Zagumny and he put a stop to their efforts by snatching 8 points in a row to convert the score to 13-10 in favor of the Poles. The Portuguese were visibly crushed by this offensive and allowed Poland to go on to take the match. It was Poland's fifth consecutive victory in the series.
"My players were a little bit tired after games against Brazil last week and it was visible tonight, "said Polish head coach Waldemar Wspanialy. He said he was pleased they had managed to overcome their weaknesses to win the match and, more importantly, to qualify to the World League Finals.
"The match was very equal, but in all of the sets except the first, we made errors in the middle phase, and that proved the difference between us and Poland," said Portugal's head coach Juan Diaz Marino. "Nevertheless I'm satisfied with the way we played tonight and I hope we will improve our efficiency tomorrow." Portugal and Argentina exit the tournament after the intercontinental round while Brazil and Poland advance from Pool A
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