Russia crushed Poland in quarter-final. No doubt, ‘sborna’ was much better and deservedly will play for medals. Italy raised like a phoenix from the ashes beating USA and gaining semifinal. Argentines were not able to prove their manhood losing with Brazil. Bulgaria made a wonderful surprise for their fans and proved that winning, without such a player like Matey Kaziyski, is possible.
Argentina 0 – 3 Brazil
Top scorers: F. Conte 10, P. Creer 8, I. Castellani 7; Murilo 14, Sidao 12, Wallace 11
‘It is high time to show that no longer are we boys, but we are man’- Javier Weber, coach of Argentina, said before the dual against Brazil. As it occurred, Brazil did not led Argentina to realize the announcement . Canarinhos beat Albicellestes in straight sets (25-19, 25-17, and 25-20) to open the programme of the 1/4 finals in the men’s volleyball tournament thereby making it to the Olympic semis for the sixth time in history. The group coached by Bernardo Rezende will play Italy on Friday.
The triple world champions have embarked on a quest to emulate USA and Russia, i.e. the sole nations with three Olympic titles in men’s volleyball, to add more glory to an already impressive tally and a success story that started with a silver medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Brazil was paced by Murilo Endres with 14 points including 2 blocks well supported by Sidao and Wallace with 12 and 11 respectively, while Facundo Conte was the only Argentinean player to finish the game in double digits (10).
Despite the victory, Brazilian coach Bernardo Rezende has cause for worry. A primary opposite Leo Vissotto was injured the adductor muscle and he probably will not able to play in consecutive matches.
USA 0 – 3 Italy
Top scorers: C. Stanley 16, W. Priddy 8, D. Lee 7; C. Savani 19, I. Zaytsev 16, M. Lasko 10
After going through many ups and downs in the prelims, Italy played a fabulous game on Wednesday to down the 2008 Olympic champions of the USA in straight sets (28-26, 25-20, and 25-20) and challenge Brazil in the semis that are scheduled for Friday, August 10.
After a very close first set where Italy came back from behind, the side mentored by Mauro Berruto played some world-class volleyball to cruise to a quick win that came as a surprise, as USA was seen as a force to reckon with on the quest for Olympic gold. Cristian Savani top scored for Italy with 19 points, including 4 aces, with Ivan Zaytsev adding 16 to the count, exactly the same figure registered by USA captain Clayton Stanley. Italy played superbly from the serving line, scoring a total of 9 aces, and is back in contention for an Olympic medal after failing to achieve that feat four years ago in Beijing where it ended up in fourth place.
Poland 0 – 3 Russia
Top scorers: Z. Bartman 14, B. Kurek 8. M. Winiarski 7; M. Mikhaylov 13, D. Muserskiy 12, A. Volkov 8
Russia ended Poland’s dreams of a remake of the glorious days from the 1976 Olympics in Montreal by claiming the third quarterfinal match on Wednesday at Earls Court in three, straight sets (25-17, 25-23, 25-21).
The players of coach Vladimir Alekno played on a class of their own by scoring 7 aces as Maxim Mikhaylov top scored with 13 points, with giant Dmitriy Muserskiy – the tallest player in the event at 217 cm – adding 12. Poland’s performance was pretty weak, with Zbigniew Bartman totalling 14 points, but generally the guys in white and red jerseys looked like a distant copy of the side that had totally dominated the finals of the FIVB World League only a few weeks ago.
Russia gained qualification to semifinal, where will face Bulgaria on Friday and peremptorily Vladimir Alekna’s wards will be the main favorite in order to win the match, but also to their your feet on top of the podium. If the Russians presents the same level as in yesterday’s game against Poland, they can feel very confident and they can be convince about their value.
Poland was badly prepared for the Olympics by Andrea Anastasi and his coaching stuff. The Poles were not able to play at their level because they already have suffered two compromising defeats in the elimination phase. White and red has been playing worse and worse from match to match. It is said you cannot make bricks without straw. It was clear that all player were losing their strength very quickly what is the result of a lack of adequate physical preparation. What is more, it was not the only mistake made by Anastasi. He did not help his players in a quarterfinal not making any substitution and not exploiting the potential of the team. Perhaps, he made a mistake when he did not appointed Daniel Plinski (middle-blocker) and Mariusz Wlazly (opposite). Especially, the first one wolud be highly desirable in quarter-final as neither Piotr Nowakowski nor Marcin Mozdzonek and Grzegorz Kosok were playing poor. Nevertheless, Polish National Team disappointed their loyal fans and the team must try to rebuild their trust in the future.
Bulgaria 3 – 0 Germany
Top scorers: T. Sokolov 22, N. Nikolov 11, T. Aleksiev 11; G. Grozer 12, M. Bohme 8, M. Gunthor 8
Bulgaria completed the grid for the semis of the men’s volleyball tournament at Earls Court by routing Germany in three, straight sets (25-20, 25-16, and 25-14) to return to the top four of the Olympic arena for the first time since striking silver in Moscow back in 1980.
Germany was literally out-classed by a Bulgarian side that has turned into the major sensation of the tournament and that stretched to the 1/4 finals the great momentum showed in the prelims where Vladimir Nikolov & Co. had capped the charts in group A. In what was a very one-sided game, Bulgaria was paced once again by Tsvetan Sokolov with 22 points including three blocks while György Grozer topped the table for Germany in a losing effort by registering 12.
Bulgaria – Russia 10 – Aug 15:00 local time/ 16:00 CET
Brazil – Italy 10 – Aug 19:30 local time/ 20:30 CET
Source: own news/FIVB
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