Lausanne, Switzerland, July 9, 2010 – Cuba became the fourth side to qualify for the next stage of the 2010 FIVB World League as they overcame Final Round hosts Argentina on Friday as France, Brazil, the Netherlands and Poland all recorded victories as the final weekend of the Intercontinental Round continued.
Cuba will join Brazil, Italy and Argentina from July 21-25 in Cordoba to contest for the title as only two more places remain available.
The Cubans opened proceedings on Friday as they beat Argentina 3-2 (25-15, 25-20, 30-32, 23-25, 15-8) in a tight match in Pool D. The visiting side’s Robertlandy Simón Aties, Wilfredo Leon Venero and Rolando Camejo Durruty topped the scores with 19, 16 and 14 points respectively while Lucas Ocampo, Gustavo Scholtis and Rodrigo Quiroga scored 16, 14 and 12 points respectively for the hosts. Cuba quickly gained a 2-0 lead before Argentina fought back to take the game to a tie-break. However the Caribbean sides experience was too much for the South Americans as they eventually went down and now look to prepare for the Final Round.
France defeated China for the second time in this year’s competition with a tight 3-2 (25-21, 25-22, 22-25, 23-25, 16-14) win away in Wuhan. France went up 2-0 before the hosts fought back to bring the scores level. However France narrowly saw out the win after a breathless final set. France finish their campaign third in Pool B while China prop up the group with just one win.
Brazil denied Bulgaria any chance of a place at the Final Round in their Pool A match as the two sides put on a fabulous display that left the home fans in despair as the defending champions recorded a 3-2 (25-21, 24-26, 29-31, 25-22, 15-12) win over the hosts in Varna. The match could have easily gone either way with Bulgaria having to come from behind twice. However Brazil held on until the end and picked up the win following a thrilling final set.
"Today was a huge disappointment for Bulgarian Volleyball,” Silvano Prandi, Bulgaria coach said. “I am very sorry for all my players and their hard work. They fought till the end but we could not make it.”
The Netherlands dealt Korea their 12th loss of the tournament to leave the visitors without a win in their 2010 campaign. The hosts romped home with a 3-1 (25-17, 23-25, 25-18, 25-23) win in Eindhoven to finish their 2010 FIVB World League on a high. Strong attacks and precise serving saw the home side take the early lead but Korea fought back in the third, desperate for their first win. However the Dutch were ruthless in the fourth and saw out the game.
In the day’s final match Poland recorded their first win over Germany in this year’s tournament as they scored a 3-1 (25-27, 26-24, 25-21, 25-18) victory over the visitors in Katowice. Germany started well and saw out the first set tie-breaker before Poland found their rhythm to win three sets in a row to finish their campaign on a high.
Saturday will se USA take on Russia at 12am GMT, Argentina play Cuba at 12.10am GMT and China tackle France at 8am GMT.