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13 June 2012
Berlin, Germany, June 9, 2012 – World No 13 Germany continued their winning ways and dispatched the highly spirited No 5 Cuba on the second day of action at the FIVB Men’s World Olympic Qualifying Tournament taking place at Max- Schmeling Hall in Berlin to remain unbeaten.
Czech Republic secured the first victory against India 3-0 (25-19, 25-13, 25-23) to improve their win- loss ratio to 1-1 and make their Olympic dreams still alive.
The third and final day of the 4 nation tournament features a tough encounter between Germany and Czech Republic in a tournament decider for the qualifier to London 2012 on Sunday. Overall Czech Republic lead 6-4 in their head to head face offs. Germany won the last match 3-0 at the 2010 World Champs. Czech Republic won the one before at the 2006 World Champs. Including the European Champs, Czech Republic leads 14-5.
Cuba face India in the other match of the closing day. The teams never played before in any FIVB competition
The four-team round-robin competition has one berth for the London 2012 Olympic Games clinched by the winner of the tournament that ends on Sunday June 10.
Germany v Cuba
World No 13 Germany dropped No 5 Cuba in a ground breaking thriller tiebreaker 3-2 (25-21, 25-17, 21-25, 17-25, 20-18) on the second day in front of 4.550 spectators who were in their toes throughout the match lasting more than two hours.
Germany won their match in the opener against India 3-0 and Cuba also picked up the opener victory against Czech Republic 3-1.
The host fought hardly in the tiebreak when they saved 4 match points before they could win against the strong Caribbean team.
Germany remains unbeaten as the only team in the tournament, to lead the 4 nation champs at the end of the second day with 5 points ahead of Cuba (4) and Czech Republic (3).
The win lifted Germany to a 2-0 win/loss record in the competition while Cuba fell to 1-1. Opposite attacker György Grozer played key roles for the German victory not only with his razor sharp attacks from position 2, but also with his unstoppable ace services that disturbed the Cuban defence completely specially in the second set . He was the match best scorer with 35 points as the best scoring performance till now and out of them 6 aces. Cuba’s best scorer was Wilfredo Leon (19 pts)
Germany improved the head to head meetings against Cuba to 9-18. Cuba have won the last 11 out of 15 matches against Germany including the last matches at the 2010 World League and a total 18 matches but Germany repeated their victory in the Olympic qualifier that happened 4 years ago in Düsseldorf.
“It´s the most important win in years,” said German Captain Björn Andrae after the match.
“I´m delighted. It was a tough game like we expected. We played splendid during the first two sets. But Cuba came back while we lost our rhythm. Everything can happen in a tie-break but we proved strength of nerve.” He added.
German coach Vital Heynen confirmed that the Cubans were better in the crucial moments of the match.
“We played very well during the first set. At the end of the second set you could see first changes in our game but in Cuba´s as well. They adapted themselves to our way of playing while we got some problems. In my opinion Cuba was the better team during third set till the fifth but finally we won.”
Cuba coach Orlando Samuels said: “The German team proved they deserve to compete at the Olympic Games. We had the same possibility but didn´t deploy it. It´s like four years ago when we couldn´t win the tie-break either. I´m still happy with my team´s reaction after the 0-2 lag, we just didn´t play well enough in the final phase.”
Czech Republic v India
World No. 23 Czech Republic downed No. 30 India in straight sets (25-19, 25-13, 25-23) on the second day of the FIVB Men's World Qualification Tournament held at the Max-Schmeling hall in Berlin, Germany on Saturday. The victory raised Czech's record to 1-2, while India dropped to 0-2.
Jan Stokr (22 points) and Karel Linz (18 points) spearheaded a balanced Czech Republic attack in the match that featured both great individual and team play. From India Singh Sube led the scorers (8 pts) followed by Kumar Sanjay and captain Singh Gurinder (7 pts).
The Czechs lost their opening match to Cuba on Friday, while the Indians were defeated by Germany the same day.
This is the second victory for the Czechs in two matches against India after they beat them 3-0 in their only previous encounter at the 1952 World Champs.
Czech captain Ondrej Hudecek see that his team chance to qualify to the Olympic is still alive. “It was very important for us to win with 3-0, so we still have a chance to qualify for the Olympic Games. Our block was better than yesterday but we still making some mistakes with easy balls like in the game against Cuba.”
His coach Stewart Bernard expressed his happiness to the victory. “It was a difficult match for us. We´re glad that we could make up for yesterdays lost. India is not a bad team but my team played very well and succeeded to keep them under score. We had good services at the right time and that was the key point. We didn´t play at our highest level but it was enough for today´s match.” He said
“I’m happy with the game even if the second set was bad. But we improve our game from day to day. The match against the Czech Republic was good to improve our blocking.” India coach G.E. Sridharan said
India Captain Singh Gurinder said that his team played better than the day before against Germany. “There has been a difference especially in our attack. I think we can get much better if we play against European teams more often.”
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