World League 2005 News
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Stunning win keeps Portugal in the hunt as Argentina drop out of contention

Lausanne, Switzerland, June 24, 2005 – Over 8,000 fans in Caracas stood and applauded an outstanding Portuguese performance in beating Venezuela in Pool A to keep their Final Round hopes alive in the latest match of Round Five of the 2005 World League Intercontinental Round. Other results saw Bulgaria give their Final Round chances a substantial boost in Pool B after beating France while Pool C is now down to a two-horse race after Poland and Greece beat Serbia and Montenegro and Argentina respectively.

But it is world number 18 Portugal who are the stars of the day so far after they collected their third successive win over Venezuela but first in the cauldron of Caracas. Their 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-22) win moves them level with defending champions Brazil on top of the group with 15 points (two points for a win and one for a defeat) with the Olympic champions having a game in hand.

In Pool B, Bulgaria squeezed past France 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 29-27) in front of 6,000 passionate local fans in Varna to leave the door open to the Final Round. Bulgaria are level with Italy and Cuba on top of Pool B with 13 points having played one extra match while France (on 12 points) now needs to win the rest of their matches and hope results go their way to reach the final four.

Meanwhile, Poland’s 3-1 (20-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-20) come-from-behind win over Serbia & Montenegro and Greece’s 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-22) victory over Argentina leaves Poland (16 points) with a two point lead over Greece (14 points) with three matches remaining. Final Round automatic qualifiers Serbia and Montenegro and Argentina have 13 and 11 points respectively.

The winner of each group qualifies for the Final Round in Belgrade, which starts on July 8.
 
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