Belgrade, Serbia, July 4, 2010 - France picked up a valuable 3-2 (25-23, 18-25, 21-25, 25-20, 15-8) win over Serbia in Sunday's final 2010 FIVB World League match of the weekend, denying the home side an early entry to the Final Round at home in Belgrade.
Both teams started well and remained even early on. Serbia then broke the deadlock thanks to good blocking and went up by. However, in the end the visitors took first blood and went up 1-0.
The home side tried to gain some momentum in the second set only succeeded in earning a two point lead thanks to powerful blocking. Once again, the visitors found the right composure in defence and turned the result in their favour going up three points. However it was Serbia's turn to fight back and from then the home side was unstoppable, winning points with ease and increasing the lead to pick up the set.
Both teams struggled in the third set with the hosts only managing to gain a one point lead. They continued with their lad however France weren't to be stopped as they came back in a late rally. But before the French could see out the set, Nikola Kovacevic stepped up with a number of powerful spikes to bring the scores closer and eventually send his team into the lead for the first time in the match.
The fourth set began equally before France took a narrow lead. Serbia started to play better prompting France to do the same. The visiting team continued with the good performance, but Mr. Kolakovic was forced to spend another time-out at 14:19. However, it was of no use as the French team easily won the fourth set at 20:25, tying the result at 2:2, after 26 minutes of play.
The French team opened the tie-break very strongly and immediately went up by three points before Mr. Kolakovic asked for a time-out. However, the Frenchmen won yet another point after the break, and the lead grew before the sides were changed. Serbia never managed to recover from such a large deficit, and the Frenchmen obtained this important victory winning the fifth set after 13 minutes of play.
Serbia now face the tough task of playing Italy as China prepare to take on France.