Gdansk, Poland, July 7, 2011 – World champions Brazil beat Olympic Champion USA 3-1 (15-25, 25-22, 25-22 and 25-15) in their second match of the 2011 FIVB World League Final Round in Gdansk, Poland on Thursday to book their place in the semifinals.
The victory gave Brazil 3-2 win-loss record over USA in this year’s World League. Both teams met in Pool A of the Intercontinental Round, where they tied (2-2 matches and 8-8 sets).
Giba scored 21 points to top the tally while American Matthew Anderson scored 16.
2011 FIVB Volleyball World League
Final Round - Poland July 6-10
The opening set began with an exceptional play from the middle-blockers of both teams – Richard Lee from USA and Sidao from Brazil, who gained all the points in the first six actions. However, the Brazilians made a few unforced errors and coach Bernardo Rezende called the first timeout when down 13-9. But it didn’t put the Americans off stroke as they increased their advantage to 10 points and won the first set with a powerful spike from captain William Priddy.
The Brazilians started the second part of the game very well, leading 8-2 at the first TTO. Before that Bernardinho changed the setter, giving a chance to his son – Bruno Rezende. He introduced a new strategy for the team. Being observed by legendary USA coach Doug Beal the Americans woke up, reducing the gap to three points (6-9) with an impressive triple-block (Ryan Millar, Anderson and Brian Thornton) on Murilo Endres. They tied at 12-12 but Canarinhos came back to lead at 18-15 with Giba's backrow attack and Sidao’s block. The Brazilians were patient and focused as they finished this set successfully.
The third set was much closer with the South Americans taking a narrow advantage. But USA blocked Giba forcing him to make an error as the USA took the lead for the first time in the set. Anderson was a hero in that part of the match. Finishing with a very long play and giving his team the advantage he then had to leave the court following an injury to his right shoulder and was replaced by the equally compotent Sean Rooney. But Giba answered with a powerful cross-spike and Lucas finished the set blocking Lee to take a 2-1 lead.
Coming back from the beginning of the fourth set, Anderson produced a serve ace, but the Americans were not able to maintain concentration. Murilo, Lucas and Giba made the difference, giving the Canarinhos a four-point-lead at the first TTO (8-4), and even more throughout the rest of the set (13-6, 18-9, 21-11) as they stormed to victory.
On Friday world No.1 Brazil will play the other undefeated 2011 Final Round team Russia in a top-of-the-pool decider while USA face Cuba.