Argentina and Brazil first to qualify for 2014 Men’s World Championship
Argentina beat Colombia 3-0 (25-17, 25-9, 25-17) on Friday to secure their third consecutive victory and a place in the tournament final while Brazil beat Chile 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-17) to also advance to the playoff for the title on Saturday. By advancing to the final, Argentina and Brazil are the first teams to qualify for the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship 2014, joining hosts Poland.
Despite the difference in technical level and large number of errors, Chile were determined to approach the net and not let Bernardinho’s team dominate the game. Thanks to the good work of Gevert, Bonacic and Vicente Parraguirre, Chile managed tie the score three times during the third set and took the lead by three points at 9-6. "It's always important to play against Brazil who are semi-professional,” Parraguirre, who scored 13 points, said. “Today we showed that we are working and in the right way. I'm happy because we played as equals."
For Brazil, Sidao, who was returning to the team after three months and a half out following back surgery, was the top scorer with 12 points: "We did not play all that we could play and they came for all or nothing, taking on our strong, attacking line up,” he said. “That's a bit difficult but the decisive points at the end of the sets were key.”
In the first match of the day, Argentina had no major problems to make their experience count against Colombia with central Sebastian Sole and opposite Bruno Romanutti leading the way. The Colombians, who beat Chile in five sets, led by Argentine coach Marcelo Gigante, who joined the team less than a month ago, also made some crucial errors.
"I'm happy because we played well and we won our main goal, qualifying for the World Championships,” Argentina coach Javier Weber said. “We kept a good pace in the game with strength and determination. I want to see this same performance against Brazil (in the final), the best team in the world in the last decade. It is always very special to face them and I would like my team to show the same determination.”
The top scorer for Argentina was Federico Pereyra who made 14, while for Colombia Alexander Moreno collected seven. "We entered the court with extra motivation, the vacancy for the World Championship,” Pereyra said. “To have any chance with Brazil, we have to respect them, but we need to play as well as we did today."
The South American Championship XXX provides two tickets to the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Poland 2014. The third vacancy will be played for in a qualifying tournament in Colombia.
All confederations are completing their qualification process ahead of the FIVB's premier volleyball tournament, which takes place every four years.