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Morocco blocking against Botswana
24 September 2011
Tanger, Morocco, September 23, 2011- The favorites Egypt, Cameroon, Morocco and Algeria all began their 2011 Men’s African Nations Championship campaigns with wins in Tanger, Morocco as the World Cup qualifying tournament kicked off on Friday.
The defending champions Egypt outclassed South Africa easily in straight sets (25-12, 25-14, 25-16), while the 2011 All Africa Games gold medalists, Cameroon fought for two hours to overcome the record holders for the number of crowns, Tunisia in a five set Marathon 3-2 (25-18, 20-25, 25-17, 23-25, 15-9).
The Algerian team was put in a critical situation against the new comers Congo Brazzaville before they won in a tight game 3-1 (25-19, 19-25, 25-15, 25-20). In front of the home crowd of 2800 spectators the organizers Morocco downed the struggling Botswana 3-0 (29-27, 25-18, 25-12)
The opening ceremony was held the night before the start of the competition schedule on Thursday and was attended by most of Morocco volleyball Federation Board members and the CAVB Control committee as well as the local authorities in Tanger city.
Cameroon beat Tunisia 3-2 (25-18, 20-25, 25-17, 23-25, 15-9)
Cameroon used the experience and physical fitness of their stars to take on the favorite Tunisian team in a long five set Marathon 3-2 (25-18, 20-25, 25-17, 23-25, 15-9) lasting for two hours. This was the third match in a raw that Cameroon won in tiebreak after they defeated Kenya in the semifinal and Algeria in the final of the last week All Africa Games in Mozambique in the same score.
Cameroon team overwhelmed the first set with their combinations led by the emerging setter Ahmed Mbutgam as he used the superior performance of his opposite Jean Ndaki and the left attacker Nathan Wounembaina to win most of the points in their way to lead at the end of the first set 25-18. Tunisia came back in the second set led by their veteran star Noueddine Hfaid who sent his strong hits from position 4 aided by Isamil Moalla to win the second set 25-20. Cameroon used the weapon of the strong spike service of Ndaki, Zaguim Nongny and Didier Sali to lead constantly in the third set until they won 25-17 to lead again 2-1. Again Tunisia fought bravely in the fourth set after their coach Fethi Mkaouar made some substitutions and Moalla played his best again to lead his team to win the set 25-23 to draw 2-2 and extend the match to tiebreak.
Cameroon was more physically fit to win the tiebreak after a group of spikes from Ndaki and Wounembaina to finish the set 15-9 comfortably and win the match 3-2
Morocco beat Botswana 3-0 (29-27, 25-18, 25-12)
Morocco supported by 2800 spectators trounced Botswana 3-0 (29-27, 25-18, 25-12) in an exciting encounter lasting 77 minutes. Botswana surprised the local crowd with their fighting spirit in the first set as they led many times before Morocco came back late to win the exciting set and then they continued their high performance to win the second and third sets in an easier way.
The first set was the most thrilling set of the opening day as Botswana led continuously till they had a 5 point deficit 20-15 when Morocco extracted all the power and used the powerful spikes of Mohamed Hachdadi from position two to decrease the gap gradually till they won the set after a great struggle 29-27.
Morocco decreased their mistakes in the second set and started also to use the middle blockers in fast attacks that disturbed Botswana players and thus they went through to win also the third set.
Egypt beat South Africa 3-0 (25-12, 25-14, 25-16)
The strong spike services of the Egyptian duo Abdalla Ahmed and Ahmed Salah guided the defending champions Egypt to win their first match against South Africa 3-0 (25-12, 25-14, 25-16) in 64 minutes.
After South Africa won the first point, the Egyptian setter Abdalla came to serve 13 successful aces to bring his team ahead 13-1, before they continued their way towards 16-2 score at the second TTO. With the relative improvement in the South African performance in reception and digging they succeeded to decrease the point deficit to 22-11 before winning the set 25-12.
The South African team improved their service in the second set specially the opposite spiker Clinton Stemmet and succeeded to put a pressure upon the Egyptians, but quickly the Egyptian setter Ahmed Abdalla led the combinations to allow his team to regain the wide advance to win the set 25-14.
Egypt coach Sherif El Shemerly made a lot of substitutions and almost changed most of the standing players and succeeded to continue the same but with less point deficit as South Africa came to the closest margin.
Algeria beat Congo Brazzaville 3-0 (25-19, 19-25, 25-15, 25-20)
Algeria overcame the sluggish start to cruise past the surprising Congo Brazzaville team 3-0 (25-19, 19-25, 25-15, 25-20) in 89 minutes. It wasn’t easy for the last All Africa Games silver medalists to win the match specially after the emerging Congo team draw 1-1 till the prominent stars in the Algerian team took the matter seriously to win the third and fourth sets.
Algeria started the match as the better side as they used the experience of the opposite Mehdi Hachemi and Ali Kerboua to lead comfortably in the first set. After the second technical timeout Algeria used the quick attacks of the middle blockers to win the first set 25-19. The second set showed a completely different picture as Congo played their best in serving and attacking through captain Gildas Kouehassazo and the wing spiker Urbain Nkounkou who sent his unstoppable hits from position 4 to lead his team to draw 1-1. Algeria regained their rhythm in attacks and backline defense and succeeded to win the third and fourth sets but after an exciting fight from the surprising Congo team.
Results Day 1
Morocco v Botswana 3-0 (29-27, 25-18, 25-12)
Cameroon v Tunisia 3-2 (25-18, 20-25, 25-17, 23-25, 15-9)
Egypt v South Africa 3-0 (25-12, 25-14, 25-16)
Algeria v Congo Brazzaville 3-1 (25-19, 19-25, 25-15, 25-20)
Day 2 Program on September 24
Botswana v Tunisia
Morocco v Cameroon
Egypt v Algeria 3-0 (25-12, 25-14, 25-16)
South Africa v Congo Brazzaville
The drawing of lots was attended by Morocco Volleyball President and the head of the local Organizing Committee Abdelhadi Ghzali, SOC Delgate Mory Kieta, Referee Delegate Hassan Ahmed and most of Morocco Volleyball Federation Board members.
Tunisia is the record holders in terms of the number of titles under their name in the history of the competition that started in 1976 with 8 cups followed by Egypt 5 times including the last three editions. Both Algeria and Cameroon won the title twice.
The 8 nation competition starts on Friday September 23. the second round will start on 27 followed by the semifinals and finals on 28 and 29th.
Pool A: Morocco- Cameroon- Tunisia- Botswana
Pool B: Egypt- Algeria- South Africa Congo Brazzaville
Day 1 Program on Friday, September 22, 2011
Morocco v Botswana
Cameroon v Tunisia
Egypt v South Africa
Algeria v Congo Brazzaville
Match Schdule- First round
POOL A (4) POOL B (4)
MOROCCO vs BOTSWANA EGYPT vs SOUTH AFRICA
CAMEROUN vs TUNISIA ALGERIA vs CONGO BRAZZA
BOTSWANA vs TUNISIA SOUTH AFRICA vs CONGO BRAZZA
MOROCCO vs CAMEROUN EGYPT vs ALGERIA
CAMEROUN vs BOTSWANA ALGERIA vs SOUTH AFRICA
TUNISIA vs MOROCCO CONGO BRAZZA vs EGYPT
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