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Huge assignment ahead for Portugal in Brazil

June 18, 2005 – World number 18 Portugal pulled off an historic victory over World League defending champions Brazil in Round Two of the Intercontinental Round and they will need to do it again when the two top sides in Pool A meet this weekend in Brasilia.

Last time out Portugal had the advantage of the home crowd and managed to split their matches with the Olympic and world champions but one sees an enormous obstacle for the Europeans playing Brazil at home in Round Four.
Pic: Portugal's Hugo Gaspar faces a massive Brazilian block when the two teams met in Round Two
While Portgual are in the middle of their best run ever in the World League, Brazil have got off to a slow start with new players slowly being introduced into the mix.

However, the world number one are still favourites to win the pool and claim the one ticket available to the Final Round, especially when one considers Brazil will play the rest of their Intercontinental Round matches at home.

Such is the status of this weekend's contest, the second match between the Pool A leaders will take centre stage on television screens around the world after being selected as the FIVB’s “match of the week”.

For the fourth week running, the FIVB will provide a live satellite broadcast of a key World League game and the second match between Brazil and Portugal on Sunday 19 June at 13 p.m. GMT (10 a.m. local time) in Brasília, Brazil is set to be an epic.

Not only does it promise to be a colourful event on the court with Brazil playing at home for the first time but with the exuberant nature of Brazilian fans off the court, the scenes are expected to be unforgettable.

Portugal is in the middle of their best ever run in the World League having won five of their first six games. While Brazil have also five victories and sit in second place only on set ratio difference.
A Brazilian home crowd is always worth a five or so point start so Orlando Samuels and his men will have to be at their absolute best to hop on their return flight from Brazil with anything more than three points (one point for a loss, two points for a win) from this weekend's two matches.
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