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men s Olympic Games 2004 - Match Descriptive

Match descriptive

Brazil beat Italy 3-2 (25-21, 15-25, 25-16, 21-25, 33-31) - duration 2:09
17-Aug, start time: 21:45, end time: 23:54 - Attendance: 6'500
City: Athens; Hall : Peace and Friendship Stadium
Brazil celebrates after thrilling tiebreaker
World champions Brazil and world number two Italy thrilled a packed Peace and Friendship stadium with an exhilarating five set struggle with the world number one from South America claiming the honours 3-2 (25-21, 15-25, 25-16, 21-25, 33-31)in the feature match of Day Two of the Men's Tournament on Tuesday.

If this is what the Olympics are all about we want more. This match always promised to be exciting with the two teams having a rich tradition in the sport and they had already contested the final of the 2004 World League in July, which Brazil won, and they didn't disappoint with both teams playing in the true Olympic spirit.

Brazil was the winner of the opening set. Gilberto GODOY FILHO guided his team with efficient spiking, while the Italians seemed unable to respond when things got tough. Brazil won 25-21 in 21 minutes.

However, Italy was the team to dominate in the second set. Matej CERNIC began to be more precise with his spiking and 19 minutes later his team were celebrating an easy 25-15 victory.

The scenario was the same in the third set. The only thing that changed was that Brazil fought back and based on their excellent serving they led for all of the set to go 2-1 up in 21 minutes.

Italy did not wait long to answer back. They jumped out to a 10-point lead before the introduction of Nalbert and Rodrigues saw Brazil claw their way back. Despite a minor scare Italy were soon celebrating a 25-21 win.

In their most recent match-up, in the World League final, Brazil was the winner in four sets and history repeated itself as 'Celecao' won after a fascinating, thrilling tiebreak 33-31. The talent, but above all, the passion and desire to win were obvious in the eyes of all the players on the floor.

If we had to mention a slight difference between the two teams we could point out Brazil's 12 serve-aces (Italy had 9) and 13 kill-blocks (Italy 8) including the one by Gustavo ENDRES that sealed the Brazilian victory.

ONS sk