Lausanne, Switzerland, June 13, 2010 – The penultimate day of the second weekend of the FIVB World League concluded on Sunday with the Netherlands pulling off a shock victory in Brazil, Poland beating Argentina, Cuba overcoming Germany, Bulgaria defeating Korea and Italy completing the double over China.
The opening match saw the Netherlands pull out all the stops to stun Brazil 3-0 (26-24, 25-23, 25-23) in Brasilia with the defending champions tasting their first defeat of the competition in three matches. Powerful serving and a number of errors from Brazil helped the Netherlands see out the win in a solid display with Dutch opposite Niels Klapwijk and middle-blocker Wytze Kooistra, as well as Brazilian wing-spiker Murilo Endres, all topping the scoring with 14 points.
"It was a great experience for our team defeating Brazil,” Peter Blangé, the Netherlands coach, said. “I have complimented all the players as they did exactly what we talked about. Serving well was the key for our win.”
Brazil are set to play the Netherlands in their second Pool A match late on Sunday night (local time) and will be determined to end their weekend on a high in front of home fans in Brasilia.
Meanwhile, European champions Poland secured a 3-2 (22-25, 25-22, 20-25, 25-23, 15-12) win over FIVB World League Final Round hosts Argentina away from home in San Juan, claiming their second victory of the weekend. Guillermo Garcia and Lucas Ocampo topped the home sides scoring with 15 points while Jakub Jarosz was once again Poland’s most prolific player with 13 points for the visiting side. Despite a passionate display from the hosts, Poland had the edge in the final set following a match that could have very easily gone either way.
Cuba remain unbeaten on top of Pool D at the end of the weekend after a strong 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 21-25, 25-17) win over Germany in Havana, confirming their status as one of the top teams in the competition. Germany began the game eager to impress and pushed the hosts close in the first two sets. However Cuba prevailed to pick up their fourth success victory of their campaign from as many matches and gave Germany a reality check after the Europeans had earlier claimed two victories over European champions Poland on the opening weekend.
Bulgaria made it two wins from two in Korea as the world No. 6 had little trouble seeing off the hosts 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-22) in Incheon. The visitors' power and height was again a huge advantage despite an at-times untidy display while Korea, ranked 16th in the world, have to pick themselves up for an away trip to Brazil next weekend after four successive losses.
"Today, we had many difficulties especially our reception," Bulgaria coach Prandi Silvano said. "Korea's serve was good. They improved a lot compared to yesterday's match."
Finally, Italy beat China to remain on top of Pool B on Sunday evening. The host side saw out a 3-0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-22) at home in Ancona to record four wins from four matches. Italy began strongly with good rhythm and despite China taking an early lead in the second set, the hosts fought back to secure a vital home win.
There is one match remaining in this second weekend of the 2010 FIVB World League, with Brazil hosting the Netherlands at 22.00 (GMT).