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Home-town hero Sanderson leads Australia to fightback victory

Melbourne, Australia, July 5, 2015 - Needing a win to stay in Group 1 of the World League next year, Australia fight back from 2-1 down with Paul Sanderson and Thomas Edgar in fine form for the home side, to take a 3-2 (25-22, 22-25, 13-25, 25-21, 15-12) victory in Melbourne

Both sides were cagey in the opening exchanges with Serbia coming out on top to go 8-4 in the lead at the first time-out. The home side were quick to fightback however leveling the tie at 12-12 with Thomas Edgar already making his mark on the game for Australia. Equally Sasa Starovic was leading from the front for Serbia who edged ahead at 18-16 before Australia for a second timed fought back to re-take the lead and take the first set 25-22 for a 1-0 lead.

Serbia were straight on the front foot in the second set and opened up a four point lead at 10-6. The Australian's were fighting hard and reduced the deficit to 1 point at 13-12. The lead was then exchanged back and forth, with their being no clear outcome of who would take the set. With the set on a knife-edge, Serbia opened up a crucial 21-19 lead with Starovic continuing to lead the fightback and they took the second set 25-22 to level at 1-1 in the tie. 

Serbia were now buoyed by levelling the tie and raced into an early 11-5 lead in the third set to silence the home crowd with Australia looking shell-shocked by the European side's fast start in the tird set. Starovic and Nikola Kovacevic were storming the Serbia side into a huge lead as they went 22-10 in front before wrapping up the third set with relative ease by the score of 25-13 to edge 2-1 ahead in the tie. 

The away side were looking to wrap the game up in four sets as they again took an early 7-5 lead but Australia were fighting for their World Group One lives and fought back to take a 16-14 lead home-town here Paul Sanderson joining Edgar in fighting for Australia's status. The home crowd roared the Australia side on as they took a decisive three point gap at 23-20 and duly wrapped up the set 25-12 to level at 2-2 in sets. 

Heading into a tie-break set, Serbia too the early advantage in the race to fifteen with a 4-2 lead with Kovacevic leading Serbia in points and to a possible victory in Pool A. However Australia hit back thanks to Edgar and Sanderson to take a 11-9 lead before securing their place in Group 1 of the World league next year with a 15-12 tie-break win and a 3-2 sets victory in Melbourne.

To see the match gallery, read the full match live commentary and post-match comments, visit the match page.


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