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World League 2003 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

Czech Republic beat France 3-1 (25-23, 18-25, 25-17, 25-20) - duration 1:39
31-May, start time: 14:37, end time: 16:16 - Attendance: 3,156
Historic win as Czech Republic beat France.
The home side started very nervously due to the significance of the match. It was the Czech Republic's first World League match at home following four previous matches in the 2003 edition, two in France and Greece respectively. However they won the first set with some fighting spirit and superb volleyball on the back of the support of more than 3000 fans. The introduction of captain Ivo Dubs to replace Peter Platenik midway through the first set was an inspired move by coach Pavel Rerabek as the captain led his team to a first set lead with good reception. In the second set the French coach Philippe Blain introduced Luc Marquet into the game and the veteran helped his side to an easy second set win. However, the Czech Republic started in the third set very well, especially with Lebl and Kubala in superb form on the block. The Czech Republic defence and the serve of Jakub Novotny put a lot of pressure on France, forcing Blain to run the changes, which worked temporarily as France came back from 13-20 down to 18-20, but it wasn't enough and the home side sealed victory with a defensive flourish on the block to the great pleasure of the local fans.
/rb