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men s Olympic Games 2004 - Match Descriptive

Match descriptive

Serbia and Montenegro beat Greece 3-2 (21-25, 38-36, 25-13, 23-25, 15-12) - duration 2:24
23-Aug, start time: 19:30, end time: 21:54 - Attendance: 9'415
City: Athens; Hall : Peace and Friendship Stadium
Serbia & Montenegro grab top spot in thriller
Both teams were playing off for the right to finish top of Pool A and despite nearly half the team being affected by fever, Serbia and Montenegro used all their experience and depth of talent to claim their fourth victory of the Preliminary Round.

It was Greece who got off to the best of starts with Antrei KRAVARIK's serving (one service-ace included) giving the home side the opportunity to take the early lead. Milan MARKOVIC and Goran VUJEVIC answered back in the same way for Serbia and Montenegro before the home fans cheered their side on to claim the first set by four points, despite a late rally from the "Blue Team" punctuated by VUJEVIC's service-aces.

The second set proved to be a real classic. Serbia and Montenegro were in the lead at 23-19 when it became KRAVARIK's turn to serve. With five magnificent serves (one service-ace) the 33-year-old took his team into the lead at 24-23. From that moment on the crowd enjoyed a top-class battle. The set went point-by-point for 41 minutes till the deciding kill-block of MARKOVIC tied the match at 1-1.

Greece's disappointment at losing the second set after such a terrific fight was obvious in the third set. Serbia and Montenegro now felt free to play their game. They took the lead and were never threatened again, taking the set by 12 points.

However, the fourth set did see a Greece comeback. Serbia and Montenegro rebounded from Greece's early lead (2-7) to tie the score at 11-11. Neither team held a lead of more than a point until the last rally when Konstantinos CHRISTOFIDELIS spiked successfully to lead Greece to a breathtaking win.

Come the fifth set and the pressure was on. Left-handed Ilias LAPPAS led Greece on a 5-1 streak to put Greece in front, 11-10. But the reigning champions kept their nerve. Vladan DJORDJEVIC's service-ace proved to be crucial as Serbia and Montenegro were the first team to reach match-point at 14-12 before Vladimir GRBIC's spiked home the winner.

ONS sk