MATCH INFO

Brazil wins second match and qualifies for the next round


Brazilian players celebrate after the last point in the five-setter against Bulgaria on Wednesday

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 3 – Defending champions Brazil won its second straight match at home in FIVB Men's Junior World Championship and grabbed the last spot available to the second round of the tournament as the home boys won a thrilling five-set battle against Bulgaria by score of 23-25, 25-19, 23-25, 25-23, 15-8 at Maracanazinho Gymnasium on Wednesday night.

With the result, Brazil finished second in Pool A, with six points, the same as leader the United States, which had a better set average. Japan ended up third, with four points, while Bulgaria finished fourth, with two.

Brazil will join Serbia, India and Argentina in the group F of the second round. The Pool E is composed of the United States, Russia, Spain and Iran.

Brazilian wing spiker Ricardo Lucarelli and Bulgarian outside hitter scored 20 points each in the match. Bulgarian Ventsislav Trifonov added 17 points to his side, while Brazilian Lucas Loh scored 15 points.

Bulgaria took an early lead in the beginning of the match and scored 7-4. After two wrong spikes of European opposite Jani Jeliazkov, Brazil reversed the match with Lucarelli spiking from the backcourt: 12-11. The host remained ahead until the end of the frame, when Bulgarian block power appeared and the European closed 25-23 with Ventsislav Ragin stopping Lucarelli.
Brazil had an outstanding start in the second set, scoring six points in a row. The European quickly reacted and tied the frame in the 8th point taking advantage of a Brazilian mistake. The home team got another good series of points in the middle of the set and ended it with a serve point of opposite Rafael Martins. The same Rafael made a mistake that approached the Bulgarian (20-17), but a serve of Lucarelli that hit the net and dropped in Bulgarian side gave Brazil the 25-19 win.

After some exchanges in the early points of third set, Brazil assured a 9-6 lead with captain Otavio Pinto spiking in the middle. A few moments later, Lucarelli spiked to increase it 13-8. With Ventsislav Trifonov serving, Bulgaria scored 15-14 and the difference expanded to 21-18 when Lucarelli spiked in the net. When Bulgaria looked like to close the frame, Brazil tied in the 23th poin with opposite Luan, but a serve point of outside hitter Ilyan Bozhkov gave the European the 25-23 win.

Needing to win the fourth set to qualifyi for the second round, Brazil put a lot of pressure over Bulgaria and scored 10-7 with setter Vitor Dias. The European reduced the difference to a single point in 12-11, but the host side achieved a safe lead again in 17-12, following a mistake of Trifonov. Bulgaria came from behind again and got close in 21-20, but led by the unstoppable Lucarelli the host won 25-23 with a spike of outside hitter Lucas Loh.

After Bulgaria achieved an early 4-2, Brazil reacted to keep the control of the fifth set until the end. With Lucas Loh spiking against the block, the host scored 9-5. In the end, Penchev spiked out to give Brazil the 15-8 win.



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