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World League 2003 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

Italy beat Germany 3-1 (25-19, 26-24, 22-25, 25-16) - duration 1:41
07-Jun, start time: 15:04, end time: 16:45 - Attendance: 3,400
Experience and expertise see Italy to victory
The eight-time World League champions look to be responding well to their new coach Gian Paolo Montali and Saturday's performance illustrated he has his team running well on all cylinders.
The three times World Champions proved to be technically and tactically stronger to win 3-1 (25-19, 26-24, 22-25, 25-16).

The Italians were - as expected - better in receiving and defence because of their strong libero Damiano Pippi but the strong performances of middle blocker Luigi Mastrangelo and Alessandro Fei compared to the early ones of Ralph Bergmann and Norbert Walter was a little bit surprising. The hosts didn't score a single block point in the first set!

But in the second set the German team came back, supported by the 3,400 screaming fans. Three excellent services of Norbert Walter gave Germany the lead at 13-12. Furthermore, with Christian Pampel and Wolfgang Kuck scoring reliably from the outside, Germany was leading 20-17, but Italy came back and won the second set, too.

Germany had "tasted blood" and took the lead to 4-1 and they didn't give up the lead easily, pressurising the Italian's receiving with strong services.

This appealed to the Italian's sense of honour and they duly played with more pressure during the fourth set. A clear 25-16 scoreline was the result. On the Italian side, setter Valerio Vermiglio played out of his skin, varying his attack and using all of his attackers. Giani, Zlatanov, Mastrangelo and Papi scored with ease.

"They played the tactics very well in the beginning," said Italian coach Gian Paolo Montali. "We were well organized, but the best part of the match was our defence. We had a lot of possibilities to attack. I expect a very hard match tomorrow."

The loss now means Germany still has to wait for the second victory of the 2003 World League.
/rb