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 Match info | Description
Russia in cruise control as Cuba crash out of the World League Finals

Cuba's Osmany Camejo at full stretch as the Central Americans suffered at the hands of Russia, who advanced to the semifinals
Gdansk, Poland, July 7, 2011 – In Thursday's opening game Russia easily beat Cuba in straight sets (25-20, 25-20 and 25-20) in Pool F in the 2011 FIVB World League Final Round in Gdansk, Poland to book themselves a spot in the semifinals, repeating their pool play win of a year ago, which also confirmed a place in the semifinals.

Russia beat Cuba 3-2 (23-25, 25-14, 25-20, 22-25, 15-13) when the two sides met in pool play at last year's Finals however on this occasion, Russia had far too much firepower to continue their domination in the encounter where the world No. 2 has won 14 out of 20 encounters. 

Russia's captain Taras Kheti led by example and also led the scorers with 16 points. Cuba's top scorer was Wilfredo Leon who hit 12 points.

2011 FIVB Volleyball World League
Live Scoring/Results
Final Round - Poland July 6-10

Both teams started the match full of determination and with an intenese level of concentration. After throwing away a two set lead to Brazil on Wednesday the Cubans were wary of not making a similar mistake again. The Russians were also in stern mood after their coach Vladamir Alenko had been critical of his team's mistakes in their opener against USA. Russia eventually edged out a three-point-advantage in the opening set (18-15), whereby Cuba's coach Samuels Blackwood called a timeout. However this did not stem the Russian tide and they continued their good run and took the set 25-20.

Russia started the second set much as they had finished the first and went ahead shortly before the first TTO (8-5). They soon increased that lead and suddenly the Cubans were chasing the match. They were spurred on by the crowd. The majority of the two and a half thousand fans in the Ergo Arena giving their vocal backing to Cuba. Despite their support and encouragement the young Cuban team began to falter and they ended up losing the second set by the same margin20-25.

Russia were now in the ascendancy and totally dominant. It seemed that the second set defeat had taken the wind out of the Cuban attack. In a short space of time Russia marched into large advantage (6-2, then 12-7). Cuba managed to pull two points back at the second TTO, but it was only for a moment. The end of the set was a display of Russian power and domination as they picked up another 25-20 win.

With Cuba now just playing for pride, they will try and end the tournamernt on a high when they take on USA on Friday. Russia meanwhile will gather their forces as they face Brazil in a repeat of last year's World League Final. On that occassion it was the South Americans who celebrated, but on this form Russia will fancy their chances of gaining some revenge.
  

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