Day two serves up superb contests
Wroclaw, Poland, August 31, 2014 – Iran’s victory over Italy and the five-set win of United States over a tough Belgium highlighted the second day actions at the FIVB Men’s World Championship in the cities of Krakow and Wroclaw on Sunday.
The Iranian side opened the day in Krakow with an astonishing 8-block production from Seyed Mousavi en route to a 3-1 victory over the Italian forces, one of the pre-tournament favourites.
Then, World League champions and fourth world-ranked United States needed a 24-point performance from World Taylor Sander to subdue No 24 Belgium.
Argentina and Australia in Pool A and France in Pool D came out winners in consecutive sets.
Crer leads Argentinean defence at the net
Following a close first set, Argentina cruised past Venezuela in straight sets (25-23, 25-17, 25-19) in a match of Pool A.
• Argentina have won 42 and lost 39 World Championship matches
• Argentina have won their last three matches at the World Championship
• Venezuela have lost their last four WCH matches against teams from the Americas
Argentina held a 7-2 margin in blocks with Pablo Crer contributing three blocks. The winners outserved their opponents 4-1. Conte led Argentina with 15 points while Jose Luis Gonzalez added 11. Venezuela’s Kevin Pinerua finished with a match-high 17 points in the loss.
Thomas sparks Australian victory
Australia avenged a painful loss suffered four years earlier in Italy by defeating Cameroon in straight sets 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 25-18) in the nightcap of day one at Centennial Hall in Wroclaw.
• Third victory of Australia in 24 matches at the World Championships
• Australia snapped an 11-game losing streak at the World Championships
• The Aussies finished 19th four years ago in Italy
Edgar Thomas topped Australia with 18 points, including four blocks while Nehemiah Mote added 10 with three blocks. Adam White also tallied 10 points for the winners. Cameroon’s Jean Patrice Ndaki finished with 12 points, followed by Nathan Wounembaina and Yvan Kody each with 9 points in the loss.
Mousavi leads Iran’s blocking against Italy
Iran achieved a remarkable opening victory at FIVB Men’s World Championship Pool D in Krakow, after subduing Italy 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-21, 25-22) in front of nearly 7, 000 spectators.
• It was the third showdown between Italy and Iran at FIVB World Championship
• They have faced each other six times in the current season, including World League matches, and they now stand leveled with three victories apiece.
• Three-time world champions Italy have grabbed bronze medal in their last three big tournaments - 2012 Olympic Games, 2013 and 2014 World League.
Ivan Zaytsev finished as the game’s top scorer with 19 points, but it wasn’t enough to break an extremely solid Iranian block, with a 15-9 advantage in that department and an unbreakable Seyed Mousavi, who blocked 8 times. Amir Ghafour also provided some massive scoring from Iran with 18 tallies.
Sanders’ 24 points carry USA over Belgium
In an unpredictable battle, USA managed to finally defeat Belgium after being twice in control, but the Red Dragons’ resilient attitude extended the game until a 3-2 (25-21, 17-25, 25-16, 21-25, 15-11) result.
• USA stepped ahead in the head-to-head record and now lead 3-2 over Belgium.
• The last time both teams met was precisely at FIVB World Championship, in 1978 in Venice.
• That tournament in Italy was Belgium’s last appearance in the tournament, making a comeback in Poland after 36 years.
Last World League's MVP Taylor Sander pulled out an astonishing performance and topped the scorers' list with 24 kills, as the only athlete with over 20 points. For Belgium, Gert Van Walle, a reserve player who remained as a starter from the fourth set, was the most prolific one of his side, with 13 points. Sam Deroo notched 12 points.
France outplay resilient Puerto Rico
It wasn’t such an easy task for France to earn their first at FIVB Men’s World Championship in Poland, as the Europeans had to deal with some good energy from Puerto Rico to prevail in three close sets 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 26-24).
• Puerto Rico have now lost four games in a row at FIVB World Championship - the last three from Italy 2010 and this one against France.
• France is playing the tournament for the 15th time, with a bronze medal in Argentina 2002 as their best final position recorded.
• For Puerto Rico, Poland marks their fourth FIVB World Championship appearance, but it’s the third consecutive one for them.
Despite the loss, Puerto Rico had in Maurice Torres and captain Héctor Soto two good scoring performances, with 13 and 12 points respectively. For France, Antonin Rouzier also nailed a dozen and Kevin Le Roux followed him with 11 tallies. Les Bleus also outblocked Puerto Rico by a solid 7-0 margin.