Lausanne, Switzerland, June 19, 2010 – China picked up their first win of the 2010 FIVB World League on Saturday as Brazil, USA, Germany, Cuba, Bulgaria and Russia were also victorious on the second day of the third weekend of the Intercontinental Round on Saturday.
The Chinese overcame France in their Pool B clash in La Reunion to secure a 3-1 (16-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-22) win, their first of their 2010 campaign. France began well, picking up the first set, but the visitors improved their reception to see out the match, disappointing the home fans but lifting China to third in the Pool behind Italy and Serbia.
Defending champions Brazil continued their campaign with a shaky 3-1 (23-25, 25-14, 25-20- 25-21) win over Korea in Rio de Janeiro as wing-spiker Murilo Endres topped the scoring with 19 points in the Pool A clash. Korea stunned the hosts by coming from behind to pick up the first set before Brazil settled to win the next three sets, using their experience to their full advantage to see out the match.
Olympic champions USA, playing at home for the first time in the tournament, held off a strong Egypt side in the first World League match between the two countries to win 3-1 (25-19, 25-15, 14-25, 25-21) to remain in second place in Pool C. Egypt were nearly down and out as the USA stormed to an early 2-0 lead before Egypt pulled one set out of the bag. However the Americans rallied back and secured the victory. USA's Clay Stanley topped the scoring with 15 points.
Germany picked up their first away win of their campaign with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-22) win over Argentina in Catamarca. Germany's height advantage proved too much for the hosts as the visitors kept up a high tempo throughout the Pool D game.
Cuba, meanwhile, continued their unbeaten run in this year's tournament with a tight 3-2 (19-25, 25-16, 17-25, 25-23, 15-10) win over European champions Poland in Havana in their Pool D clash. Cuba started with the advantage however Poland pulled back after a number of errors from the hosts. Cuba pulled back again before Poland took the scores to 2-1. However Cuba took the game to a tie-break and saw out the win in front of thousands of ecstatic home fans.
Bulgaria handed the Netherlands their first home defeat of this year's competition in Apeldoorn with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-23) win. The opening set started evenly before a sterling Bulgarian attack saw out the win. The visitors carried their momentum into the second set before disposing of the Dutch in the third to move into second in Pool B.
"I saw a team that was fighting against themselves instead of against the opponent," Dutch captain Rob Bontje said. "And then winning a game becomes very difficult."
Russia meanwhile defeated Finland 3-1 (25-18, 25-16, 18-25, 25-18) to take their winning streak to six matches, ending the weekend on top of Pool C. The home side's Taras Khtey topped the scores with 18 points while Urpo Sivula led Finland with 17 points. Both sides started badly, making many mistakes throughout. However Russia found their rhythm to pick up the first two sets. Finland came back to pick up the third however the host side claimed the win in front of 4,130 fans in Kaliningrad.
The 2010 FIVB World League continues on Sunday with Brazil taking on Korea, USA hosting Egypt, Argentina playing Germany, Cuba up against Poland, the Netherlands hosting Bulgaria and Italy taking on Serbia.
For more information visit www.fivb.org