French fans were waiting for revenge in Nice after the
defeat of their Men's National Volleyball Team at the hands of Argentina in
Lyon on Friday.
They weren't disappointed.
France beat Argentina in five sets on Sunday during the
second round of 2009 FIVB World League action. The hosts won 25-21, 26-24,
19-25, 22-25, 15-9.
France needed a win Sunday to keep alive their hopes of
qualifying for the Final Round of the tournament in Serbia.
Philippe Blain's players started the match well, entering
the first TTO up 6-4 but the Argentine's scrapped back to win 5 points in a
row. With the score level at 10-10, France took the lead again but Argentina
knotted the score up at 16-16 after a fantastic one-hand block of Pierre Pujol,
the French setter. France was more aggressive at the end of the first set and
wrapped the frame up 25-21 in 27 minutes.
France started the second set with the same spirit as the
first, making the most of home-court advantage. Les Bleus led 4-0 and 5-1 and
maintained the gap all the set long. Ludovic Castard was efficient on the block
while both teams showed their nerves with many services mistakes. The teams
traded leads in money-time until France, with Castard blocking and Rouzier
spiking, concluded the set 26-24.
In the third set, Moreau, the French captain, came off
the bench to add power to the hosts' game. But Argentina resisted and led the
set. At the first TTO, Argentina led 8-6, and at the second, the gap was six
points, 16-10. The French tried to resist but were unable to stave off the
Argentina comeback. Argentina secured the set 25-19 in 27 minutes.
France started well again in the fourth set and led 8-5
at the first TTO. But Argentina won three points in a row to put pressure on
the French team. The teams were neck and neck to 16-16, but Argentina was
slightly stronger, winning the set 25-22 to force a tiebreak - the fourth in
four games for Argentina.
In the tiebreak, France led early, 3-0 and 4-1 with two perfect
blocks from Loïc Geiler. France increased their advantage when Javier Filardi
missed a service before the first TTO. The hosts made sure their fans didn't go
home disappointed, winning the set 15-9.