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Serbia go top in Pool C

Serbia bolstered their chances of a Final Round spot on Saturday with victory over Portugal to top Pool C
Povoa de Varzim, Portugal, June 25, 2011 – Serbia took hold of Pool C of the 2011 FIVB Volleyball World League on Saturday as they secured a narrow win over Portugal in five sets (25-21, 19-25, 29-31, 17.25, 15-11) at home to move ahead of Argentina.

Portugal demonstrated more aggressiveness on the serves and speed in the attack while Serbia based their game on the height of their players, slower than the Portuguese, but much taller and robust.

Portugal came into the match in a strong manner and took a three point advantage. But Serbia fought back to take the lead before Portugal reduced the gap at 20-22. However Mikos Nikic, with an indefensible spike, closed the set for the visitors.

In the second set, Serbia led from the start but the hosts fought back through Hugo Gaspar. From then onwards, Portugal began to regain their confidence and, supported by an enthusiastic crowd, increased the distance on the score before setter Tiago Violas closed the frame to bring the scores level.

Serbia gained a four point advantage in the third.Portugal fought back through Joao Jose but the aggressiveness of the Serbian attack and serves was the difference. However Portugal came back again from four points down before the pressure got to Serbia when Starovic spiked outside the court granting the third to the hosts.

In the fourth set, Serbia recharged. Making value of the enormous difference in height of their block and attack, they soon tried t leave behind their opponents, but the hosts were never far behind. But through the help of Milos Nikic the visitors drew level to take the match to a fifth set.

The final set was never in doubt as Serbia took a lead which they failed to let go as they picked up a vital win.

The two sides will meet again tomorrow at 15:00 GMT.

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