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 Match info | Description
With Giba back, Brazil beats Finland in 5 sets to remain unbeaten

Finland slipped to 1-2 with the loss in Brasilia

Brasilia, Brazil, June 19, 2009 - With the reinforcements of wing-spiker Giba and middle-blocker Rodrigao, both playing in the 2009 FIVB World League for the first time, Brazil achieved its third win at the competition.

The South Americans beat Finland 3-2 (25-22, 26-28, 25-16, 23-25 and 15-9) at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium here on Friday in the first of two matches between the teams this weekend.

With the result, Brazil remains unbeaten in the Pool D of the tournament and is looking strong on its march toward its eighth title at the competition. Finland dropped to 1-2. Brazil and Finland will play again this Saturday at 10 a.m. (local time), at the same venue.

Finnish opposite Mikko Oivanen led all scorers with 17 points, all from spikes. Four players scored 15 points each: Finnish wing-spiker Antti Siltala and Brazilian opposite Rivaldo, wing-spiker Murilo Endres and middle-blocker Lucas Saatkamp.

With Giba and Rodrigao in the starting lineup, Brazil was surprised by Finland's good start as the European team had a 4-1 lead after middle-blocker Jukka Lehtonen stopped Giba. Serving strongly, Brazil tied the match at 5-5 with Rivaldo spiking, before taking the lead for the first time when Giba scored on the serve, 7-6. With neither team getting a good advantage on the scoreboard until the end of the set, Brazil closed the first frame 25-22 with a spike from middle-blocker Lucas Saatkamp.

As in the first set, Finland took control of the beginning of the second. Counting on Brazilian mistakes and a serve point from wing-spiker Antti Siltala, the Europeans went into the first technical timeout with an 8-4 lead. Keeping the good rhythm, the Finns maintained a good advantage into the second TTO, 16-13, with Brazilian captain Murilo Endres spiking out. Opposite Rivaldo's block brought Brazil back to 21-21 but with two consecutive mistakes from Lucas Saatkamp, Finland took the second frame 28-26.

In the third set, Brazil imposed its way of playing and went into the first TTO up 8-5 when Rivaldo spiked from the backcourt. Making fewer mistakes, the reigning world champions took a 21-14 lead with Rodrigao's balanced serve. A flying backcourt score from Murilo Endres ended the set 25-16 in favor of the hosts.

Wing-spiker Matti Hietanen was the Finns' main player in the beginning of the fourth set and led the team to a 12-10 advantage with two points from spikes and one from the service area. Saatkamp and Endres gave Brazil the lead again at 15-12 with some fine spikes. But the Brazilian spikers stumbled later and Finland closed to 20-19. With Rivaldo spiking out, the Finnish tied the match again: 25-23.

In the last set, Brazil started better and led by Bruno Rezende in the service area, the South Americans did not take long to take a 3-0 lead. With Rodrigao spiking, Brazil kept the advantage (8-5) at the side switch. Finland lost its concentration and made several mistakes, making things easier for Brazil. A serve error by Matti Hietanen gave the host team its third win: 15-9.


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