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Brazil, Poland set for pivotal Men’s World Cup clash

Brazil have an 8-0 win-record in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Cup
Hiroshima, Japan, October 11, 2019 – Two of the top teams in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup will square off at the Hiroshima Green Arena on Sunday when Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallists Brazil play reigning world champions Poland.

Brazil enter the final stretch of the competition atop the Men’s World Cup table on 24 points from winning all eight matches, followed closely by Poland on 21 points from winning seven encounters.

On Friday, Brazil continued with their unbeaten run by beating Tunisia 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-13, while Poland played clinically against Australia to win 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-9).

A win for Brazil would be enough to give them a huge advantage in the standings, but coach Renan Dal Zotto is not being complacent in his approach.

“I think if we want to play well against a team like Poland, we cannot make a lot of errors,” Dal Zotto said. “They are a good, strong team, and we cannot afford to lose points from our own mistakes. We have to play well, not just against their good block-defence, but we have to perform well in all the fundamentals of the game.”

On the other hand, Poland tactician Vital Heynen’s focus right now is to keep on playing good matches and gauge their competitiveness.

“I think Brazil are so far in front in the rankings that even if we win they will stay in front, so I think the winner of the World Cup will be Brazil,” Heynen said.

“We have to challenge ourselves to play a good match. The plan was to have a tournament where we keep on playing good matches, have a lot of players playing, and we will also do that in the next match - a lot of players playing and see if we can play well. I think Brazil deserves to win (the tournament) because they are the best team until now and we will see where we are.”

The United States and Japan both endured tough five-set matches against Canada and Egypt, respectively, keeping them in contention for a podium finish.

The USA squad defeated their NORCECA rivals Canada 3-2 (21-25, 25-11, 20-25, 25-19, 15-13) to stay in third place, while Japan made a strong comeback against Egypt to win 3-2 (25-14, 18-25, 25-23, 28-30 15-13) to trail in fourth place.

Meanwhile, Iran battled hard against Argentina to register a 3-2 (27-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-17, 15-10) to improve their record to four wins and four losses. Russia also carry the same win-loss card as Iran, but concluded their match with an upward trending performance against Italy to succeed 3-1 (13-25, 27-25, 28-26, 25-12).


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