Formosa, Argentina, June 24, 2011 – In their last home match of the Intercontinental Round of the 2011 FIVB World League, Argentina fell 3-1 (25-14, 25-17, 23-25, 28-26) to Finland. Argentina are still ahead in Pool C with 22 points, followed by Serbia with 13, but Serbia have yet to play their Week 5 matches and the two teams will clash in Serbia next week.
Antti Siltala was the top Finnish scorer with 21 points, while Facundo Conte led Argentina with 19 points.
From the start, the match was fiercely contested. Three unforced errors by the home side gave the Finns a slight advantage and at 9-13 Argentina coach Javier Weber called for a timeout. Argentina had a similar start on Friday. Argentina couldn’t find their rhythm and Weber started to change his lineup when they were eight points back at 18-10. But with 13 unforced errors against them, Argentina were never in it.
Daniel Castellani’s team saw their chance and streaked out to an 8-1 lead at the start of the second set. The Europeans were in total control and stretched their lead to 14-6, at which point Weber needed another timeout. Argentina drew closer – with Castellani requesting a timeout at 17-13 – but Finland’s superior blocking (6-3) and aces (6-1) separated the two teams.
The 10-minute break between the second and third sets allowed Argentina to regroup and they were five points up at the second technical timeout of the third set. The Finns fought back to 22-21, prompting Weber to haul his players off court again, but with some good blocks and serving, the hosts were able to pull a set back.
The fourth set started out pretty even, but Finland stretched out a three-point lead at 13-10. Argentina fought back and from then on it was a struggle for supremacy, Finland edging it 28-26, although both teams had chances to clinch the set.
In the sixth weekend of the competition, Serbia will host Argentina while Finland returns home to play Portugal.