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men s Olympic Games 2004 - Match Descriptive

Match descriptive

Greece beat France 3-2 (25-22, 14-25, 26-24, 23-25, 15-10) - duration 2:19
21-Aug, start time: 19:30, end time: 21:49 - Attendance: 9'360
City: Athens; Hall : Peace and Friendship Stadium
Greece qualify after thriller
It was a must-win game for both sides but in the end the weight of the home crowd support swung the match Greece's way and now France, the world championship bronze medalists, will now have to make sure they beat Tunisia in straight sets and hope Poland lose to Argentina. Depending on the results of France and Poland, the best set ratio might even come into consideration.

For Saturday's match, on paper it looked like it was going to be a close contest and both teams didn't disappoint. Good serving was the main characteristic of the first set. As long as France was serving well, Philippe BARCA CYSIQUE had the opportunity to finish successfully the attacks and his team were ahead early in the set. By the time Tontor-Zlatko BAEV began to serve, Greece turned things around to recover from 18-17 down to take the lead at 21-18 before taking the set.

France's BARCA CYSIQUE and Stephane ANTIGA took charge of the second set. They did not allow the Greek team to keep pace despite KRAVARIK's efficient spiking. France tied the match by winning the second set easily and the race was back on.

The frenetic pace continued in the third set with the scores tied at 12-12. Then Frantz GRANVORKA's stepped up to serve for France. With two aces and magnificent serving in general, GRANVORKA led France on a five-point roll to take the lead out to 17-12. However, Konstantinos CHRISTOFIDELIS came off the bench to tie the score up again at 19-19 before sealing the set.

France once again built a quick lead in the fourth set. Substitute Oliver KIEFFER (eight points in total) was in the starting line-up to add to the French blocking and attacking artillery and he proved to be the difference. Greek efforts proved to be too late as France sailed to a tight 25-23 win to send the match into a tiebreaker.

With the crowd in Greece's favour it wasn't long before the home team had sealed the win and their spot in the quarterfinals.

ONS sk