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Press release

Upping the ante on day 3 of the World League Finals


Canada will be hoping to keep the celebration going with a win against Brazil on Friday evening

Lausanne, Switzerland, July 19, 2013 – Following a dramatic second day of action in the World League Finals, the heat is still on as Canada and Brazil prepare to go head-to-head in the first of two matches in Mar del Plata on Friday. Still riding high on its win against Bulgaria yesterday, Italy will then take on hosts Argentina in the second match of the day.

Canada v. Brazil  - July 19, 2013 – 19.30 (GMT) / 16:30 (local time)

Brazil – nine time World League winners – will be looking to avoid elimination following their loss to Russia on the opening day. And Team Canada seem poised to give them a run for their money after pulling off one of the biggest wins in their history on Thursday defeating Olympic champions and world no. 2 Russia. Victory against Brazil will guarantee that Canada will win Pool E and book its place in the semifinals.

In entering Friday’s match, Canada and Brazil are level pegging with both securing wins in nine World League matches this year, the most in the 2013 tournament. Brazil and Canada have played 16 times in the World League with Brazil holding a commanding 13-3 edge. Team Canada will have their work cut out for them as Brazil has never failed to win a set in a World League match against Canada.

Italy v. Argentina - July 19, 2013 – 23:00 (GMT) / 20:00 (local time)

After defeating Bulgaria in its first match on Thursday, Italy can secure top spot in Pool C and a spot in the semifinals if they beat Argentina on Friday. With Argentina having lost their opening match to Bulgaria  on Wednesday, they need to defeat Italy to force a three-way tie in Pool D as a loss would see them eliminated from the tournament.

In overall World League play, Italy holds a 9-5 advantage over Argentina, with two of those 14 matches taking place in the Final round.    

WORLD LEAGUE FINALS – DAY 3 – STATISTICS


Canada v Brazil

Canada

-After Thursday's upset win over Russia, Canada carries a seven-match World League winning streak into Friday's clash with Brazil. Canada's last loss was against Portugal on 8 June.
-Canada holds its fate in its own hands; victory against Brazil will guarantee that Canada wins Pool E and books a place in the semifinals.
-Canada can become the fourth country in World League history to win its first two Final Round matches, after Italy (1990), Bulgaria (1994) and Serbia and Montenegro (2003). (Serbia also did this in 2008, but it is considered the same entity as Serbia and Montenegro for this purpose.)
-Canada has dropped only six sets in its current seven-match World League winning streak.
-Canada's last two wins, against Japan in the Intercontinental Round and against Russia in the Final Round, were both decided in five sets. If Canada defeats Brazil in five sets, it will be the first time Canada has won three consecutive World League matches that all went to five sets. It previously won two straight in 2000 (both against Argentina).

Brazil

-After storming through Pool A in the Intercontinental Round with a 9-1 record, Brazil will be eliminated if it falls to Canada, following Wednesday's first-up loss to Russia.
-If Brazil fails to reach the semifinals, it would mark the second straight year that Brazil would finish outside the top four in the World League, following last year's sixth place finish. The last time Brazil had consecutive finishes outside the top four was when it finished fifth in three straight years from 1996-98.
-Brazil has lost four straight World League finals matches and can make it five straight losses for the first time in its history. Brazil also lost four straight finals matches in 1996-97.
-Brazil has lost its last three finals matches that have gone to five sets (v Russia in 2011 and v Poland last year). Prior to this streak, Brazil had never lost back-to-back five-set World League finals matches. It maintains a 14-7 record in five-set World League finals matches.
-By winning the match, Brazil would reach 999 sets won in World League play. No other country has reached 900, though Italy could do so before the end of the tournament (currently 894 entering Friday's play).

Head-to-Head

-Brazil and Canada have played 16 times in the World League – all coming in the Intercontinental Round – with Brazil holding a commanding 13-3 edge.
-Their most recent World League meetings came in 2012, when Brazil won three out of four.
-Brazil has never failed to win a set in a World League match against Canada. Canada's three wins have been in either five sets (twice) or four sets (once).
-Entering Friday's match, Canada and Brazil have both won nine World League matches this year, the most in the 2013 tournament.

Italy v Argentina

Italy

-After defeating Bulgaria in its first match on Thursday, Italy can secure top spot in Pool D and a spot in the semifinals by defeating Argentina on Friday.
-Italy can win consecutive matches in the World League finals for the first time since 2004.
-If Italy qualifies for the semifinals, it will ensure its first top-four finish in the World League since 2004. Italy's best finish in the last eight years is sixth (2006, 2010-11).
-Italy's last 10 wins in the World League finals have all come against European opposition. Its last win in the World League finals against a non-European team was against Cuba in 2001.
-Friday's match will be Italy's 370th match in the World League. Only Brazil, which plays its 387th match on Friday, has played more World League matches.

Argentina

-Having lost its opening match against Bulgaria, which subsequently lost to Italy, Argentina needs to defeat Italy to force a three-way tie in Pool D. A loss would see the Argentines eliminated from the tournament.
-Argentina has lost 10 consecutive World League matches, its third-longest World League losing streak. Argentina previously lost 17 matches in a row from 2009-11 and 14 matches in a row from 2006-09.
-Argentina is 2-10 in its 12 previous World League finals matches. Both victories came in 2011, and both came against the two other teams in Pool D in the 2013 finals: Italy and Bulgaria.
-A loss to Italy would see Argentina wrap up its 2013 World League campaign with just one win (in the opening match against the USA), after winning six matches in 2012 and 11 matches in 2011.

Head-to-Head

-In overall World League play, Italy holds a 9-5 advantage over Argentina. Thirteen of those 14 matches were played from 1998-2001.
-Two of those 14 matches were in the Final Round, with Italy winning in 1999 and Argentina exacting revenge in 2011 in their last World League meeting.
-Both their previous Final Round meetings were decided in four sets. Italy won the first set in both matches.

-Italy has dominated Argentina at major championships with a 6-1 record Olympic and world championship level. Argentina's only win at this level came at the 2002 world championships in Buenos Aires.

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