Favourites Brazil and Russia begin with victories on World Champs Day 3
Katowice and Gdansk, Poland, September 1, 2014 - Heavy favourites World No 1 Brazil and No 2 Russia opened their 2014 FIVB Men's World Championship campaigne in the right track as both giants set the first victory against Germany and Canada respectively in the third day of the competition's Pool B and C in Katowice and Gdansk on Monday.
In the match of the day Finland rebounded back from two sets behind to beat the contenders Cuba in a thrilling tiebreak 3-2 (18-25, 21-25, 27-25, 25-23, 15-12) in Pool B to entertain hundreds of Finnish supporters who came through the borders to become the key factor of the victory.
Brazil beat Germany 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-17)
Brazil opened their quest in the right foot after they beat Germany in front of a passionate crowd at Spodek Hall
• Brazil have won all six matches against German teams, two against the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and four against unified Germany (GER).
• Brazil have won the last three World Championships and they can become the first team to win the trophy four times in a row.
• Brazil have won 25 of their last 29 World Championships matches.
• Germany have lost their last four matches at the World Championships. They had a longer losing streak (5) in 2006.
• Brazil had 11 successful blocks against 5 for Germany.
Brazil's outside hitter Lucarelli topped the scorers with 13 points followed by middle blocker Lucas with 12, while Germany's Gyorgy Grozer topped the loser's list with 11.
Finland beat Cuba 3-2 (18-25, 21-25, 27-25, 25-23, 15-12)
Olli-Pekka Ojansivu 's superb performance led world No 26 Finland to rebound from 2 sets behind and win a grueling five setter against world No 7 Cuba.
• Finland return to the World Championships for the first time since 1982. This is their seventh participation and their best result has been 11th in 1952.
• Finland won their opening match at World Championships for the first time after six opening defeats at the previous editions.
• Cuba is the youngest team in pool B- their average age is 21 years.
• Finland won the match despite losing the first and second sets and being six points behind in the third set.
Finland's Ojansivu topped the scorers list with an impressive 23 points, while Javier Jimenez led the losers with 21.
Korea beat Tunisia 3-1 (24-26, 26-24, 25-21, 25-18)
After long four sets battle, Korea claimed a 3-1 (24-26, 26-24, 25-21, 25-18) victory over more experienced Tunisian team. The battle between two continents, full of unexpected twists, exhausted both teams, but satisfied spectators in Katowice.
• This was the third match between Korea and Tunisia at the World Championships. Korea won 3-0 in 1974 and Tunisia won 3-2 in 2006. Now Korea leads 2-1
• This is Tunisia's ninth World Championships. Their best rank is 15th in 2006 and they finished 19th in 2010.
• Of all African teams, Tunisia have the most participations in World Championship.
Chul-Woo Park (24 points) and Seung-Suk Kwak (12 points) led Korea to the victory. In the losing side, Marouen Garci with 16 points and Ismail Moalla with 12 points were the top scorers. Korea scored 58 points with spiking, while Tunisia made 43.
Russia Beat Canada 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-21)
Dmitriy Muserskiy delivered in offence as Russia outmaneuvered a persistent Canadian team in straight sets in the opening match of Pool C at the Ergo Arena in Gdansk.
• Russia have won all three encounters with Canada; their last two were won in straight sets.
• The last time these teams met at a big event was at the 2013 FIVB Volleyball World League when Canada beat Russia in a five-set match.
• Russia regained control in every set when Canada sparked a run.
Awesome Muserskiy was the most prolific scorer of the game with 18 points, overpowering Canada's main weapon - Gavin Schmitt who nailed 11 kills.
Bulgaria beat Mexico 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-21)
Bulgaria drained Mexico in straight sets to earn their opening day victory and collect three valuable points in the beginning of their World Champs path.
• Bulgaria kept control of the match without any major Mexican surge in offence.
• Blocking worked wonders for Bulgaria, giving the Mexican attackers a hard time to execute an attack.
• Bulgaria is looking forward to improve their seventh place finish in the last edition of the World Championship.
Todor Aleksiev and Tsvetan Sokolov were the main guns for the Bulgarian win, adding 14 points apiece. For Mexico, Daniel Vargas finished with 10 points as the only player to reach double numbers.
China beat Egypt 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 23-25, 33-31)
China started with a positive campaign after defeating Egypt in four sets, with its classical quickness to outplay the African side in the first two chapter. Egypt successfully charged their way to extend the match, but in an exciting fourth set China ensued the win.
• China avenged their last result against Egypt, which was a 3-0 defeat in 2011 World Cup in Kagoshima, Japan
• The Chinese side is playing in FIVB World Championship for the 13th time, with a seventh place as their best result, earned in both 1978 and 1982
• Egypt is facing their 8th appearance in the competition, after their best mark achieved in their last run – a 13th place in Italy 2010
China's Zhi Yuan led all the scorers with a tournament-high of 31 points, while Ahmed Elkotb from Egypt uncorked 23 tallies having played a little over than two sets.
2014 FIVB Men's World Championship performances
Top Scoring Performances
31 – Zhi Yuan of China v Egypt (September 1)
24 – Taylor Sander of USA v Belgium (August 31)
24 – Chul-Woo Park of Korea v Tunisia (September 1)
23 – Olli-Pekka Ojansivu of Finland v Cuba (September 1)
21 – Javier Jimenez Scull of Cuba v Finland (September 1)
Top Blocking Performances
8 – Seyed Mousavi Eraghi of Iran v Italy (August 31)
5 – Osmany Uriarte Mestre of Cuba v Finland (September 1)
5 – Yung-Suk Shin of Korea v Tunisia (September 1)
4 – Konstantin Shumov of Finland v Cuba (September 1)
4 – Viktor Yosifov of Bulgaria v Mexico (September 1)
Top Blocking Performances by Team
16 – Korea v Tunisia (September 1)
15 – Iran v Italy (August 31)
15 – Finland v Cuba (September 1)
13 – Cuba v Finland (September 1)
12 – Tunisia v Korea (September 1)
Top Serving Performances
5 – Dmitry Muserskiy of Russia v Canada (September 1)
3 – Rolando Cepeda Abreu of Cuba v Finland (September 1)
3 – Maxwell Holt of USA v Belgium (August 31)
3 – Kevin Leroux of France v Puerto Rico (August 31)
3 – Luke Smith of Australia v Cameroon (August 31)
Top Serving Performances by Team
7 – Russia v Canada (September 1)
7 – Cuba v Finland (September 1)
6 – Belgium v USA (August 31)
6 – Finland v Cuba (September 1)
6 – France v Puerto Rico (August 31)
Highest Scorer by day
Day 1: 24 – Taylor Sander of USA v Belgium (August 31)
Day 2: 31 – Zhi Yuan of China v Egypt (September 1)
Highest Set Score
Day 1: France v Puerto Rico, 3rd set 26-24 (August 31)
Day 2: China v Egypt, 4th set 33-31 (September 1)
Highest Scoring Matches
Day 1: USA v Belgium (August 31) (25-21, 17-25, 25-16, 21-25, 15-11) - 201 pointsDay 2: Finland v Cuba (September 1) (18-25, 21-25, 27-25, 25-23, 15-12) - 216 points