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Serbia seal stirring win over Argentina

Serbia celebrate an important victory over Argentina in Novi Sad on Wednesday
Novi Sad, Serbia, June 29, 2011 – Serbia claimed a vital 3-1 (25-18, 23-25, 25-18, 25-22) win over Argentina in Pool C of the 2011 FIVB Volleyball World League on Wednesday night as they moved within a few points of a Final Round spot in front of their home fans in Novi Sad.

Argentina need just one point to be guaranteed a place in the Final Round while Serbia need two, making their rematch on Thursday night at 18:00 GMT a decisive battle.

The first set started with explosive serves from both sides and excellent blocks from the Serbian team, especially Milos Nikic, which saw the hosts take the lead. Serbia continued expanding the gap as they moved ahead by six points and remained on top until the close of the set, taking an early 1-0 lead.

Argentina started the second set better  but Serbia succeeded in turning the result in their favor. But the visitors managed to regain the lead with five consecutive points. Serbia’s Dragan Stankovic served strongly while Sasa Starovic’s great kill tied the score, but the constant back-and-forth action and a mistake from Serbia saw Argentina come back and draw level at 1-1.
Serbia took an early lead in the third, utilising an intelligent serve to rattle the Serbian reception. Still Serbia fought hard, taking back a six-point lead. As the Serbs carried their momentum, without losing the advantage, Argentina refused to back down and tried to come back into the game with strong attacks, but it was too late as a powerful Nikola Kovacevic spike saw the home side take control.
The fourth set saw Serbia and Argentina both struggling to gain a foothold but the Serbian team edged the advantage at the first TTO. The battle went on as Serbia’s Sasa Starovic put on a serving clinic, winning three points in a row for the lead. Facundo Conte and Rodrigo Quiroga helped bring the South American side within one point but a bad serve from Mariano Giustiniano gifted the match to Serbia as the fans celebrated.

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