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World League 2003 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

Czech Republic beat Spain 3-1 (25-15, 25-21, 22-25, 25-23) - duration 1:45
10-Jul, start time: 20:07, end time: 21:52 - Attendance: 11,500
Czech Republic beat Spain in home field and becomes the last semifinalists
Surprisingly, Czech Republic was able to stay away from the pressure imposed by the cheering crowd of the full-house sports hall. Czechs answered that push from the audience with playing, specially with actions from opposite Jaruk Nowotny and center Martin Lebl. Czechs won the first set with not so much opposition from the court (25-15)

The nervous from playing against such a crowd affected Spaniards more than the visiting team and unforced errors, specially from the serving line appeared in local actions. Besides, the firm work of Czech blocking avoided Spain from pointing. Then, visitors were given with a lead that made them face the game from a comfortable position. Spaniards tried to recover that disadvantage by the end of the period, but Czech Republic kept the lead and won the second set 25-21.

Spanish head coach Francisco Hervás substituted setter Cosme Prenafeta for Alfonso Flores in order to give fresh air to Spanish attacks. Rafael Pascual started to contribute Luis Pedro Suela and Gustavo Saucedo's job in attack and local team was able to come back from a starting disadvantage of 3-4 points to win the set and give hopes to the cheering crowd (22-25)

In the fourth set, Martin Lebl and Jaruk Nowotny were the men responsible for making these hopes fade away. Nervous Spaniards could not find solutions for the effective actions by Czech opposite and center, and locals were forced to be always behind in the scoreboard; that was a stone to heavy to carry for Francisco Hervas' squad. A block by Lebl meant the 25-23 and the 3-1. Czech Republic goes to the semifinals of World League Finals 2003.