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FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2006
Match Description
Azerbaijan too good for Mexico

Azerbaijan on the attack

Azerbaijan swept to a 3-0 victory over Mexico for their second win in Pool B, securing their place in next round of the FIVB Volleyball World Championship for Women.

After a heart-breaking defeat to Germany on Saturday, the Azerbaijanis knew it was win or bust if they wanted to stay in the tournament and emerged with a 25-14, 25-10, 25-16 win in Sapporo.

Azerbaijan confirmed their place in the Osaka round after Russia beat Dominican Republic 3-1 in the final match of the pool.

Mexico were always the underdogs after four previous defeats and they exit the tournament with a 0-5 record but having learned much about what it takes to make the grade at a world-class tournament.

Azerbaijan have a 2-3 record at the end of the Sapporo round with their other victory being over Mexico's Central American rivals Dominican Republic.

It was clear from the start that Mexico were going to struggle against the technically superior Azerbaijanis.

Captain Bibiana Candelas was a constant source of inspiration for her teammates but the east Europeans dominated the points from the opening rallies.

Once Azerbaijan pulled away to 11-6 there was only going to be one winner in the opening set.

Captain Oksana Guliyeva won the set for her team with a successful block.

Azerbaijan's leading spiker Natalya Mammadova was not in her best form but she didn't need to be.

It was a tired group of players who returned to the court for the second set.

Mexico had given their all in their previous four defeats and the fight seemed to have been squeezed out of them.

Azerbaijan had played their best volleyball in their defeats to China and Russia before capitulating against Germany on Saturday.

It was ironic that they didn't have to be in top form to score their easiest victory of the round as they raced to a 16-5 lead in the second set.

They eventually took the set 25-10 thanks to some effective strikes by Mammadova, Oksana Mammadyarova and Mammadova.

Mexico's best spell came in limiting Azerbaijan to an 8-6 lead in the third set.

They never got closer as Azerbaijan pulled away to with some effective spikes into yards of space on the Mexican side of the court.

Azerbaijan completed their victory when Yelena Shabovta slammed the winning spike.