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Argentina and China stay in contention in Ningbo

 
Triple Argentinean block against Finland’s best scorer Kaislasalo
Ningbo, China, August 10, 2019 – Argentina and hosts China are set to decide who will claim the Pool F ticket to Japan as they face each other at the Tokyo Volleyball Qualification tournament in Ningbo on Sunday. The South American side need to win just two sets to qualify.

On Saturday, Argentina defeated Finland 3-1 (25-17, 25-18, 21-25, 26-24) with Bruno Lima contributing 13 points to the win. Samuli Volle Mikael Kaislasalo top-scored 22 for the European side. In a thrilling five-setter, Canada snatched a 3-2 (24-26, 25-21, 25-17, 23-25, 17-15) victory over China, their first of the tournament, not enough to save a shot at the first place. Nicholas Hoag scored 20 times for the winners. So did Libin Liu for the home side.

Pre-match stats:

Finland - Argentina (August 10, 2019) 
Head-to-Head
• Finland and Argentina meet for the first time in the last seven world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2020).
• Argentina won six of their nine meetings with Finland in major world level tournaments (Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League, Nations League, Grand Champions Cup).
• These nations last met at world level in the 2011 World League. Argentina won the first three matches (3-2, 3-0, 3-2), before Finland won the last 3-1.

Finland
• Finland lost 3-1 to China in their first match at the world Olympic qualification tournament in Ningbo.
• Finland could become the second Nordic country to qualify for the men's tournament at the Olympic Games, after Sweden (1988).
• Despite their defeat against China, Finland won as many points from attack (both 57).
• Samuli Ville Mikael Kaislasalo (19) and Peetu Makinen (17) were the only Finland players on more than eight points in the defeat against China.

Argentina
• Argentina defeated Canada 3-1 in their first group match at this year's world Olympic qualification tournament.
• Argentina competed in the Olympic Games on seven occasions, all in the previous nine editions.
• In their previous participation in a world Olympic qualification tournament, in 2008, Argentina won successive matches once: against Algeria, Iran and Thailand.
• Argentina won at least two sets in each of their last six matches in world Olympic qualifying.
• Facundo Conte (24 points) was top scorer in the match between Argentina and Canada.

China - Canada (August 10, 2019) 
Head-to-Head
• China and Canada meet for the third time in the last seven world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2020).
• China won 3-0 in the 2004 qualification tournament, while Canada won in five sets in the 2016 edition.
• Canada won nine of their 13 major world level matches against China, including each of their last eight since a 3-1 defeat at the 1995 World Cup.
• Major world level competitions are: Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League, Nations League, Grand Champions Cup.
• These nations met once at the Olympic Games. Canada won in straight sets in the 1984 group stage.
• Canada won 3-1 in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League, their most recent world level encounter.

China
• China defeated Finland 3-1 in their first match at the world Olympic qualification tournament in Ningbo.
• China could participate in the Olympic Games for the third time, after 1984 and 2008.
• With their win against Finland, China ended a four-match losing run in world Olympic qualification. In the 2016 edition, China won successive matches once, 3-0 wins versus Japan and Venezuela.
• Chuan Jiang (25) was top scorer in the match between China and Finland. Libin Liu (17) and Zhejia Zhang (14) also won at least 10 points.

Canada
• Canada lost 3-1 to Argentina in their first group match at this year's world Olympic qualification tournament.
• Canada could participate in the Olympic Games for the fifth time, and for the second edition in a row.
• Canada won their last three world Olympic qualification matches against teams representing the AVC: 3-2 against Australia, 3-1 versus Japan and 3-2 against China.
• Despite their defeat against Argentina, Canada outblocked their opponents 11 to five.
• Nicholas Hoag (19) won the most points for Canada against Argentina, including three from stuff blocks and three from serves.

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