Argentina’s victory was well-deserved and the team seems to be getting stronger in each set and each match. Argentina are strong in attack – notably Federico Pereyra, Facundo Conte and Sebastian Sole – they serve aggressively, receive well and have a solid defense. Portugal failed to match their strong performances against Finland last week, with their service in particular letting them down.
The match started out evenly. With both teams secure in defense, it was in attack that they tried to make the difference, with Portugal’s Valdir Sequeira and Federico Pereyra of Argentina topping the scorers. After trailing by a point at the first technical timeout, Argentina came back into the game and were leading at the second TTO. An individual block from Flavio Cruz shortened the gap, but the South Americans took advantage of some poor play by the hosts and gained control of the match.
Portugal were able to regroup at the start of the second set and were two points up at the first TTO. But Argentina stormed back with good blocking and more strong attacking from Pereyra. They were three points ahead at the second TTO and behind good offense from Facundo Conte were able to close the set out at 25-20.
In the third set, Argentina again stumbled slightly at the start but turned things around for a three-point advantage at the first TTO. Portugal, driven on by their many fans, tied at 9-9 and went ahead through Flavio Cruz. After edging into a two-point lead at 14-12, Portugal were unable to hold on and Argentina inched their way back into the tie. A one-point lead at the second TTO gave the visitors their momentum back and they eased their way to victory at 25-19.