Italy stay perfect in World League after 3-1 win over Poland
Ivan Zaytsev led the Italians in the Pool A clash with 24 points and some strong serving, while Grzegorz Bociek was dominant for the Poles and also finished with 24 points. But the Poles were let down by errors and Italy claimed their fifth straight win for a maximum 15 points in this year’s competition. Poland dropped to 1-2.
Italy coach Mauro Berruto was full of praise for the “phenomenal” Zaytsev. “It was a victory in a double sense because the other matches were more simple to play,” he said. “Zaytsev was phenomenal; he resolved a lot of points in moments of difficulty.”
In another Pool A clash, Brazil overcame Iran in a marathon match that went to five sets (25-23, 28-30, 26-28, 25-23 15-13) in Sao Paulo. Iranian hitter Shahram Mahmoudi topped all scorers with 22 points while Brazilian middle blocker Sidnei dos Santos (Sidao) contributed 16 points. Brazil are now 2-3, while Iran remains winless but picked up their first point.
In Ceske Budejovice, home team the Czech Republic needed another five sets before overcoming Korea 3-2 (25-20, 23-25, 19-25, 25-21, 15-12) in Pool E. The Czechs also needed five sets to win on Thursday. Park Chul Woo topped all scorers with 24 points, while the Czechs were led by by Petr Michalek’s 19 points. The Czechs are now 3-1 after four matches, while Korea dropped to 1-3.
Group F kicked off with two games in Mexico City. Cuba beat Turkey 3-1 (25-18, 24-26, 25-21, 33-31) in a long four-set match in which Rolando Cepeda scored 27 points, while Mexico eased past Tunisia 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-22), with Tunisia failing to make a single block against the Mexicans.
The opening games in Pool G produced a 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-22) win for China over Puerto Rico and a 3-1 (25-13, 18-25, 25-20, 28-26) victory for Slovakia against Spain.
In other games on Friday, Canada defeated Belgium 3-2 (22-25, 25-21, 25-17, 20-25, 16-14) in a Pool C match in Liege, Belgium, and Argentina overcame Japan 3-1 (20-25, 26-24, 25-19, 25-23) in a Pool D clash in Buenos Aires.
There are 10 more matches on Saturday.
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