Second round line up completed at Men's U21 World Championship

28 August 2013

 Ankara, Turkey, August 26, 2013 – Egypt (Pool A), Japan, Mexico (Both Pool B), USA (Pool C) and Italy (Pool D) joined the already qualified teams to complete second round (Round of 16) frame at FIVB Men's U21 World Championship following thrilling fifth and final day of the preliminary round held in both Ankara and Izmir on Monday.


Early on Sunday Turkey, India, China (Pool A), Iran, Argentina (Pool B), Serbia, Canada, Tunisia (Pool C), Russia, France and Brazil (Pool D) booked their qualification tickets to the knock out stage.


 India earned their third consecutive victory over China 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-18) in pool A to finish second and China third of the pool following the leader, Turkey who finished their matches on Sunday with 4-0 full record. Morocco surprised Egypt with an epic 3-2 (18-25, 16-25, 25-23, 32-30, 15-11) in North African clash, however Egypt stayed fourth, while Morocco finished fifth.


 “We had a slow start of the match. But later we played better. We really wanted to win this match in order to complete our pool with a win," Morocco coach Brahim Bouchdouk said


 “After winning the second set my team believed we would win the match and relaxed. But this is volleyball and we should not give up on the court. Our chances are small because we will play against Iran and they are a very strong team.” Egypt's coach Gaber Abouzeid commented.


 Iran concluded Pool B with the full mark 4-0 after their win in straight sets against Mexico who finished fourth, while Argentina came second after they took over Estonia to push them to the fifth position.


 Pool C was the most exciting as USA who waited till the last day to confirm their ticket, did a miracle of winning neighbours Canada in a wide 3-0 victory to jump to the second position after a rare tie situation with both Canada and Tunisia, where the latter had to call back their face to face match to settle the third position for Canada and the fourth for Tunisia. Serbia beat Rwanda to confirm leading the pool, keeping the Africans at the fifth position.


 In pool D Russia suffered first defeat against Italy and kept their position at the top of the pool, while the winners finished fourth. Brazil had second victory against Venezuela to reserve second position keeping the other South Americans for the classification tournament.


 After a rest day on Tuesday, the competition will be resumed on Wednesday with the Round of 16 matches where Iran meet Egypt, USA face Brazil, Argentina play China. Other encounters are Serbia v Italy, India v Japan, Russia v Tunisia, Turkey v Mexicoand France v Canada. The winners of the playoff matches will advance to the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals to be classified from first to eighth while the losers of playoff match will play classification matches, with a similar quarterfinals, semifinals and finals system, to be classified from ninth to sixteenth.


 The bottom-ranked teams of each pool (Morocco, Estonia, Rwanda, and Venezuela) will play classification matches for 17th-20th place in a round-robin system starting from Thursday August 29.


Pool A


India v China 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-18)


India earned their third consecutive victory in Pool A over China 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-18) in the all-Asian clash between the world’s two most populated nations. China meet Argentina in the Round of 16 on Wednesday.


Evidently tired from the previous night’s five-setter match against Turkey, the Chinese team could not perform at its best in offence.  In the meantime, the Indian spikers took advantage of the situation to play a good game and contribute as many as 45 points to their team’s victory.


Anup D’Costa was the top scorer of the match with 17 attacking points for India.  Team-mate Lavmeet Katariya added another 14 to his team’s account, five of which he scored by blocking.


Morocco v Egypt 3-2 (18-25, 16-25, 25-23, 32-30, 15-11)


Morocco defeated Egypt in the North African clash in Pool A in Ankara, but failed to qualify for the Round of 16.  Brahim Bouchdouk’s squad earned their first victory of the tournament with a 3-2 (18-25, 16-25, 25-23, 32-30, 15-11) result hammered out after almost two hours of play time, but the two sets that the Egyptians won were sufficient for them to stay in the fourth position in the pool’s ranking to face Iran on Wednesday.


In the first two sets Egypt showed a far better performance than their opponents.  However, now that they had already secured their place in the Round of 16, perhaps they lost some of their concentration to let the Moroccans hammer out a complete turnaround and burst into celebration.


Zouhair El Graoui piled up a fantastic 31 points to contribute to his team’s victory as the best scorer of the match.  Mostafa Abdelrahman and Islam Abdelkader were Egypt’s best scorers with 19 and 18 points, respectively.


Pool B


Iran v Mexico 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-17)


Iran achieved their fourth consecutive victory in four matches to finish unbeaten on top of Pool B.  In their last game of the pool phase, they hammered out a 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-17) win over Mexico.  Iran will face Egypt in Wednesday’s Round of 16, while Mexico play Turkey.


Coach Farhad Nafarzadeh’s players once again showed their abilities to play some great volleyball.  Inspired by their fans on the stands again, the Iranians moved to gain a 2-0 sets advantage.  Despite having already secured the first place in the pool, they did not stop at that and continued to dominate on the court during the third set.  After 25-17 they certainly had a good reason to celebrate...


Roberto Rincon scored 15 points for Mexico to top the scorers’ chart of the match.  Ghara Ebadipour made 13 points for Iran.


Argentina v Estonia 3-1 (25-19, 22-25, 25-17, 25-22)


Before their match against Estonia, Argentina were sure to finish second in Pool B.  However, they approached the game with a fair-play attitude and did not allow the European team to win the so desired two sets to make it into the Round of 16.  Instead, Mexico took advantage of Argentina’s 3-1 (25-19, 22-25, 25-17, 25-22) victory to keep their fourth position in the final ranking.  On Wednesday, the South American side will face China.


Argentina played well in the first set to take charge on the court.  Facing the dilemma ‘now or never”, the European team stepped up their performance and won the second set.  Argentina had no intention of stepping back and claimed the next two sets to celebrate the victory, while sad Estonia had to start packing for their flight to Izmir.


Pablo Koukartsev topped the scorers’ chart of the match with 23 points for Argentina.  Renee Teppan was Estonia’s most prolific player with 14.


Pool C


USA v Canada 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-22)


 USA showed their tournament's best performance so far to take over Canada 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-22) in neighbours Pool C clash at Ataturk Hall in Izmir.


 USA played their tournament's best performance as they fought for each ball aiming to win in straight sets which make them improve their pool final ranking.


 USA, Tunisia and Canada were tied in points (6 each), number of victories (2 each) and the set quotient (7-7), where point quotient decided USA second of the pool, Canada third and Tunisia fourth. The direct face off between Canada and Tunisia (Canada won 3-1) settled the situation between the two teams as they were tied also in point quotient in a one of the rarest situations in the history of the sport.


 Among all USA highly performing stars Benjamin Patch was in an outstanding form as he was the match scorer with impressive 20 points followed by the efficient outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke who scored nine.


 From the Canadian side the Stephen Maar was his team scorer with 13 points followed by Bradley Gunter who scored 9.


Serbia v Rwanda 3-0 (25-13, 25-20, 25-20)


 Serbia continued the winning rhythm with fourth consecutive victory against Rwanda in straight sets (25-13, 25-20, 25-20) in the last Pool C clash.


 With Pool C matches concluded, Serbia led the table with a win- loss ratio of 4-0 (12 points. Rwanda finished 5th with 0-4 record and joins the round robin tournament with the fifth ranked teams in their corresponding pools for classification 17 to 20th, while Serbia meet Italy, the 4th of Pool D in the round of 16


 The Serbian Sinisa Reljic distributed the match effort to his entire list except star outside hitter Uros Kovacevic who had a rest; however the Serbian team had a wide lead in the first set 25-13.


 Serbia's attacker Luka Medic was his team and match scorer with 15 points followed by teammate Milan Katic who scored 15. Rwanda captain and usual weapon Aimable Mutuyimana was as usual his team scorer with 12 points.


Pool D


Brazil v Venezuela 3-0 (25-14, 25-23, 25-13)


 Brazil recovered from last night defeat against France to end their pool D campaign with a straight sets victory over winless Venezuela (25-14, 25-23, 25-13) in Pool D.


 With this win Brazil finished the preliminary round with a win- loss ratio of 2-2 and 8 points to be ranked third and battle it out against 2nd of Pool C USA in the round of 16, while Venezuela dropped to 0-4 and hence they play with the 5th ranked teams in the classification pool for 17 to 20th positions.


Opposite spiker Alan Souza and outside hitter Douglas Souza were the key factors in the victory and finished as match scorer with 14 points each. Venezuela big gun Roberth Abreu was his team scorer with 9 points.


 Brazil's coach Leo used most of his list throughout the match and used some substitutes trying to rest some key stars after their big effort in the Sunday's match against France. 


Italy v Russia 3-2 (23-25, 27-25, 30-28, 11-25, 15-12)


 Italy surprised pool leaders Russia with a fantastic performance to hang them over the first defeat in an exciting two hours five setter 3-2 (23-25, 27-25, 30-28, 11-25, 15-12) in Pool D.


 Although Russia suffered their first defeat, they kept their leadership of the pool with 3-1 win- loss ratio, gaining 9 point (1 point ahead of France). Italy improved to 2-2, but stayed in the fourth position.


 Luigi Randazzo with amazing 33 points topped the match scorers and had the best scoring performance in the tournament so far, including 4 aces and 1 block. Luca Borgogno followed him with 15 points. Victor Poletaev led Russia's scorers with 26 points including 3 dying blocks and 3 aces followed by Ivan Demakov (15).


 Needing at least two sets to secure the top of the pool ahead of France, the Russian team played their rhythm in the first set to win hardly 25-23 after they showed the well known blocking activity beside using their point machine Victor Poletaev to hammer a lot of spikes. Italy's engine Luigi Randazzo worked very hard to give his team the upper hand for two sets where they advanced 2-1 after 27-25 and 30-28 set wins. Russia came back to save their situation and gained the fourth set widely 25-11, before Italy played their best to win the tiebreak in style 15-12.



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