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World League 2003 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

Greece beat France 3-1 (25-20, 16-25, 30-28, 28-26) - duration 1:53
07-Jun, start time: 21:07, end time: 23:00 - Attendance: 3,210
Greece keep Finals hopes alive
After Friday night's 3-0 loss in the first game, Greece came back fighting on Saturday night and edged France in four passionate sets in Patra. The home team got its act together, but it was a long night in the western Peloponnese city, as both teams swapped the lead a number of times and set balls were blown on either side, before Greece came away with a thrilling victory that put them back on track to a berth in the Finals in Spain.

With excellent serving by Marios Giourdas and a generally more acceptable performance, Greece took an early lead in the first set and kept France at a distance throughout, reaching set-point at 24-17. France did attempt a comeback to close in at 24-20, but couldn't turn the set around.

France wasn't ready to quit so easily however. Hammered by strong serving from France's Franz Granvorka, Greece dropped the second set 16-25, tying the overall score at 1-1, and even gained a lead in the third. It was Greece's turn to stage a comeback though, tying the score at 14-14 and leading for the rest of the way until its first set-ball at 24-23. This was promptly cancelled by the French, who had four set-balls of their own at 24-25, 25-26, 26-27 and 27-28. This time, however, Greece put in the final word, tying at 28-28 and coming away with a thrilling 30-28 victory with the final point coming off a double block by Akis Hadjiantoniou and Nikos Roumeliotis.

France returned strongly to lead throughout the fourth set and reach set-ball at 22-24, but blew both chances to force the set into a tie-break. Greece tied at 24-24 and had a match ball at 25-24, before France blew yet another chance at a tie-break (25-26). Greece took the initiative once more and promptly finished the match at 28-26.

A great win for the homeside and with 13 points Greece now sit one point ahead of France and two ahead of the Czech Republic to set themselves up nicely for a run home to the World League Finals in Spain next month.