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 Match info | Description
Brazil defeats Serbia in a stellar five setter to play Turkey in the semifinals

The Brazilians in action during their stellar game against Serbia
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, July 9, 2009. Brazil and Serbia closed out today’s program at the Mall Convention Center in a match that was considered as a sort of pre-final, taking into consideration the stunning performances both teams had been displaying so far in the competition. The South American champions and the European silver medalists play quite a similar volleyball, relying on their amazing physical skills and combining power with speed in a way that is definitely impressive at such a tender age.
Brazil got to a great start (10-4) and even though the Serbians put up a fierce resistance, the “Cariocas” maintained a good control of their nerves in the decisive rallies to sail away right at the end of the set for the final 25-18. The Serbian block did not manage to stop the attacks of Samara and Sthefanie, whereas the Brazilians were gaining more and more confidence through a series of delightful combinations in attack and a very consistent work in defense. The Brazilian domination did continue also in the second set: against such a stellar opponent, the Serbians were somehow obliged to play even beyond their best and with a reception that was quite often too shaky they could not have a real chance to storm back. Brazil’s nr 10 Samara was the real star of the match but actually the South American is so solid and has no real weaknesses that it is questionable whether the “Cariocas” might be somehow stopped in their marvelous run towards the gold medal (25-18).
The third set was a real delight for any volleyball fan: the score stayed very close all the way through, with long rallies, amazing actions in defense – especially for Brazil – and the Serbians had to “score” three or even four times before they finally got the point. The decisive break came after the teams were tied at 22: Lilijana Rankovic – who had just entered the court – caused some troubles to the Brazilians with her tricky services and a double block of the Serbians finished the job, with Brazil losing the second set in the tournament so far after Japan had also scored one a couple of days ago against the “Cariocas”.
The audience felt like being on a rollercoaster in the fourth set: Brazil started off amazingly, especially with Sthefanie in the serving area, moving quickly up to 11-4 but the Serbians once again displayed their fantastic team playing and fighting spirit to bounce back and level at 14 after a series of endless rallies. Brazil gained another mini-break also through some unforced errors of the European silver medalists but Klisura leveled back at 19. Teams exchanged the led a couple of times more before Klisura hit a killing spike for the 25-23 and the tie-break. What a great show!
After such a demanding effort, the Serbians run literally out of fuel in the fifth set and Brazil finally seized a marvelous match after more than 2 hours to play Turkey in the semifinals slated for Saturday.

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