Lyon, France, June 19, 2009 - The support of 5,000 fans
at a packed Lyon Sports Hall "Gerland" wasn't enough of an advantage
for France on Friday, as they lost in five sets to Argentina in the 2009 FIVB
Argentina won 25-19, 19-25, 22-25, 25-20, 15-9.
In the first set, Philippe Blain's players took the
advantage at the first TTO, 8-7. Both teams stayed close (12-12) until France
took a 14-12 advantage, but Argentina came back to level 14-14. Blain took his
first TM 2 points later (14-16). With an efficient attack, Marechal finally
stopped an onslaught from Argentina, which had won 5 points in a row. Argentina
was leading 20-17 and with no answers from France, won the first set 25-19.
Blain must have told his player to be more aggressive,
and the Blues started well at 5-2. But Argentina won the next 3 points, 5-5
before France did the same to lead 8-5 to the first TTO. Argentina stayed close
until the second TTO, 16-13. Weber called his players for a TM at 18-14 but
Vadeleux served the first ace of the match to make it 20-15. France won the set
after a fantastic rally was concluded by Loïc Geiler with a perfect block,
The atmosphere was hot with a DJ named Djee keeping the
crowd in good form througout. In the third set, Weber took his first TO at 6-3
for France in an attempt at breaking their rhythm. But France kept motivated
and soon led 8-5. Argentina stayed close at 13-14 but France reached the second
TMO with a 2 points advantage 16-14. Rouzier offered comfort to his teammates
with powerful attacks. Vadeleux unleashed his special ace called the
"roucoulette" to make it 21-16. In the money-time, French won the
most important point to take a decisive advantage (23-19) and secure the third
set 25-22 in 31 minutes.
Weber decided to change his libero to Gonzales from Meana
Place to start the fourth set. Argentina was leading at the first TTO (8-6) and
kept its 2 point advantage until 14-12 when France staged a comeback to
equalize at 15-15. Marechal missed his service and Argentina had a one-point
advantage by the second TTO. But Argentina found the energy to keep the
pressure on the hosts. Rouzier missed an attack prompting Blain to take a TO
even though his team was leading 16-19. France narrowed the gap (19-21), prompting
Weber to call a TO. It was a good decision, as Argentina added two more points.
Pujol came on and Bazin took the lead in this crunch period. Moreau, the French
captain, also came off the bench. But Argentina won the fourth set 25-20 to
force a tie-break--the third in three games for Argentina, who won one and lost
the other in Korea.
In the tie-break, Argentina led early, 3-1. France
equalized at 3-3 but lost the next 2 points. France won a long rally to survive
make it 4-5. Arroyo missed an attack at the net as France and Argentina traded
leads. At 7-7 Argentina added two points and maintained the difference to lead
10-8. Loïc Geiler missed a reception and the gap increased to three points
(12-9) before Argentina concluded the game 15-9.