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World League 2004 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

Brazil beat Serbia & Montenegro 3-0 (25-23, 32-30, 25-20) - duration 1:28
17-Jul, start time: 21:07, end time: 22:35 - Attendance: 4'100
City: Roma; Hall : Palalottomatica
Brilliant Brazil too clinical in superb semifinal clash with Serbia and Montenegro
In a repeat of last year's final, defending champions Brazil beat Serbia and Montenegro in three breathtaking sets of Volleyball-at-its-finest to set up a showdown with Italy in the final of the 2004 World League in Rome on Sunday.
Both sides were indestructible, and just like last year's final, the game was played at the highest intensity. Every point was precious and in a city where plenty of battles have been waged before, this one was right up there with the best of them.
Brazil, who were without regular captain Nalbert Bitencourt, set the pace from the opening whistle with some superb energy in defense helping them to a 3-0 lead. Their unity on the block proved too much for Serbia and Montenegro early on as the defending champions got a great start out of the blocks. But then some subtle touches from the Grbic brothers pulled the "Blue team" back into the game and the Olympic champions soon had the lead at 14-13. Uncharacteristically Brazil's play began to lose shape and Serbia and Montenegro were ahead 16-14. But the world champions fought back twice to claim the lead at 18-16 and then from 21-19 down they climbed back again before Amaral Dante sealed the set with a monster spike.
By this stage Brazil were firing on all cylinders, racing to a 4-0 lead. Giba's agility was equally matched by Andre Nascimento's power and precision. Serbia and Montenegro tried their best to hang on with Andrija Geric producing some wonderful power serves and Nikola Grbic doing his best to fire up his teammates but Brazil kept their noses ahead in the middle stages. It wasn't until Serbia and Montenegro were leading 22-18 that they sniffed a genuine chance of claiming the set, but Brazil's tenacity is incredible. They fought back to draw level and then finally claimed the set at 32-30 courtesy of an Andre spike.
Serbia and Montenegro tried their best but too often Bernardo Rezende's men had just a little bit more class and ran out deserved winners. If this was the entrée, bring on tomorrow's main course against Italy.