In this final match of the preliminary round for both sides, Congo came out on fire, motivated after losing to Serbia on Sunday, winning the first three points of the match and five of the first seven. However, once Russia called a timeout, cooling Congo off, the European bronze medallists tied the score at eight. The set remained close the rest of the way.
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Russia pulled away in the second set. The Russians went on a six-point streak to push their lead to 9-3 before the Congo’s Patrick Misano had a kill to end the rally.
In the third set, Russia played their best. Their defense improved, and Maxim Kulikov (2.05m) had multiple kills.
Salva Mbuyi Banza led Congo with 12 points. Dmitriy Solodilin had a game-high 17 points for Russia. Bogdan Glivenko had nine kills for Russia.
Russia’s record improved to 2-0, winning pool A, while the loss dropped Congo’s record to 0-2. Russia will compete in the boys’ semi-final on Tuesday at 12:30 against the second-ranked team from pool B. Congo will play on Wednesday at 10:00 against the third-ranked team from pool B for fifth place.