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30 July 2012
London, Great Britain, July 29, 2012 - Brazil beat the African representative Tunisia in straight sets (25-17, 25-21, 25-18) in their opening match of the preliminary round of the men’s volleyball tournament at Earls Court on Sunday. Brazil’s offense was evenly distributed with Murilo Endres and Lucas Saatkamp contributing 9 points apiece but it was Tunisia’s Hichem Kaabi that eventually top scored in the match with 12. It was Brazil’s second win over Tunisia on the Olympic arena and the eighth positive result for the triple world champions in as many matches with the side from Northern Africa.
A nervous looking Tunisia side, ranked No.20 in the world, seemed in awe of the world’s No.1 team as the first set began. They made a string of mistakes, as Brazil powered to a 10-3 lead. The blocking of Sidnei dos Santos, Leandro Vissotto Neves and Murilo Endres was impeccable, and the brilliant Dante Amaral hit some powerful spikes. Tunisia took advantage of Brazilian errors with spikes from Hichem Kaabi and Elyes Karamosly but the South Americans comfortably claimed the opening set 25-17.
In a closer second set, Tunisia kept in touch with Brazil thanks to Karamosly and Kaabi. But dos Santos, Vissotto, Endres and Lucas Saatkamp kept the points coming for the favorites. The arrival of captain Gilberto Godoy Filho, aka Giba, on the pitch was a further boost for Brazil - as well as exciting the many South American fans at Earls Court, and they stayed in front to take the set 25-21.
In the third set Brazil also moved steadily ahead. The same key spikers scored points, and Rodrigo Santana also added to the scoring. Tunisia fought hard, with Karamosly and Kaabi outstanding against such tough opponents. But with Saatkamp and Endres leading the way, Brazil never seemed in any trouble and they won the set 25-18 to complete their victory.
Brazil face the world No.2 side Russia in their second preliminary round match on Tuesday, while Tunisia will hope to improve against Serbia.
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