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men s Olympic Games 2004 - Match Descriptive

Match descriptive

Italy beat U.S.A. 3-1 (25-21, 21-25, 25-17, 25-23) - duration 1:46
15-Aug, start time: 21:30, end time: 23:16 - Attendance: 5'630
City: Athens; Hall : Peace and Friendship Stadium
Italy beats USA in passionate match
An intense match between the second and fifth ranked teams in the world saw Italy overcome United States in four passionate sets, 3-1 (25-21, 21-25, 25-17, 25-23) at the Peace and Friendship Stadium.

Guided offensively by the spikes of Andrea SARTORETTI (seven points in the first set), Italy proved too tough for the United States in the first set. American blocking may have done a good job (six kills) but they were unable to finish their attacks correctly (just eight from 23 spikes).

By this stage both teams were showing great emotion on court as the match gathered momentum. USA tired their best to disrupt the Italian pattern and during the second set they succeeded with an excellent performance, inspired by Clayton STANLEY, to come back with a 25-21 win in the second set.

The third set the momentum swing again Italy's way with SARTORETTI as lethal as ever. His serves gave USA plenty of problems and on the back of some improved setting Italy found their rhythm again to take the third set 25-17.

The fourth set was a thriller. Both teams fought to win each rally and neither side wanted to concede the advantage. Italy took the early lead, but the Americans were the first team to reach the 20-points-limit, 20-18. However, Italy called on all their experience and their ability to handle difficult situations to seal the victory, on the back of a spike from no other than SARTORETTI and a fault attack by William PRIDDY.

Matej CERNIC, SARTORETTI and Alessandro FEI were the high scorers for the winners with 19, 18 and 17 points respectively, while STANLEY had 21 for the US team.

ONS sk/eg