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World League 2003 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

Italy beat Germany 3-1 (25-18, 19-25, 25-22, 31-29) - duration 1:52
08-Jun, start time: 15:04, end time: 16:56 - Attendance: 3,490
Italy well tested but class shines through
Another excellent searching performance from Germany still couldn't break the eight-time World League champions Italy, as the "Squadra Azzurra" dug deep in Munich and held on for their fifth win of the World League Intercontinental Rounds in an impressive display. The favourites wobbled but didn't fall!
Both coaches, Italy's Gian Paolo Montali and Germany's Stelian Moculescu trusted in the same "starting seven" as Game 1 on Saturday, which Italy ahd won 3-1 and the match started similarly to Saturday's game too.
Italy soon took the lead 8-3, mainly because of the excellent passes of setter Valerio Vermiglio - two times in a row he passed to Samuele Papi, who wasn't blocked. Also the strong services of Alessandro Fei and Luigi Mastrangelo troubled the German team and the clear 25-18 winning margin illustrated Italy's dominance.
But the German team returned differently on court for the second set: four block points, one ace as well as a replacement (Eugen Bakumovski for Björn Andrae) gave Germany the early lead 8-3. Pushed by the 3.490 enthusiastic fans the German team became passionate. Even the replacements Torre for Vermiglio and Vernaghi for Zlatanov couldn't prevent Germany cruising to a 25-19 second set win.
However the euphoria of the second set was short lived as Italy quickly took the early lead 8-4 in the third set before the homeside dug deep and came back to 16-17. An ace from Pamel levelled the scores at 21-21, but in the end Italy prevailed again to make the match score 2-1.
The fourth set was even in the beginning until Italy took the first clear lead at 11-7. Germany's coach Moculescu called on the 2.07m giant Marco and Germany fought back to take the lead at 14-12 and at 19-16. But at 24-21 the hosts had three set balls and even two more soon after but Italy showed their experience and stayed cool and used the fourth match ball at 31-29 to seal the win.
/rb