European champions Italy lose to Brazil on opening day of U21 World Champs
News from the FIVB
Ankara/Izmir, Turkey, August 22, 2013. 2012 European champions Italy suffered a setback on the opening day of the FIVB Men’s U21 World Championship in Turkey as they lost in straight sets (21-25, 33-35, and 23-25) to heavy favorites and four-time champions Brazil. As Russia and Serbia are set to debut on Friday, three more European teams started their campaign on Thursday with France and Turkey seeing off Venezuela and India respectively in straight sets while Estonia – the major sensation of the European qualifiers held this past May – lost 1:3 to Iran. On Friday Italy and France will cross their ways, while Serbia and Russia open with two difficult matches as they take on USA and Brazil respectively. Estonia will try to go for their first win as they play Japan that on Thursday beat Mexico 3:1.
The home guys of Turkey completely outplayed their opponents from India in the first set and left no doubt over their intentions in this tournament. With a very solid performance in all elements of the game the Turkish team took the first set 25-16. Their domination continued through the second set. They seemed eager to please the audience with some smart plays on the court and it paid off with a 25-17 at the end of the set. In the third set India stepped up their efforts to unveil some of their potential and managed to at least stay close behind their opponents in the score for a while. However, a tremendous blocking performance by the local heroes gave them the comfort to secure a straight-set victory as they increased the pressure in the conclusive moments to rush to another 25-17 for the final 3:0. “We did not expect to win this match that easily. We thought that India would be tougher but they were not” Turkey’s head coach Umit Hizal commented.
In what is only their second appearance at the FIVB Men’s U21 World Championship, Estonia lost their opening game with Iran 1:3 (25-22, 11-25, 17-25, and 22-25). Estonia’s great blocking efforts helped this side take control at the beginning and at the end of the first set in spite of several aces that Iran managed to score to come from behind and maintain a lead through the middle part. The 25-22 outcome of the first set in favor of Estonia prompted an immediate reaction from the Asian team. The Iranians established complete domination on court and closed the second set off at 25-11. The exceptional serving performance of Iran, particularly by captain Javad Hosseinabadi, continued as the team broke away in the third set. Estonia tried to fight back and almost caught up in the score, but their excessive unforced errors in the final moments enabled their opponents to win it by 25-17. A fierce battle between Iran’s strong attacks and Estonia’s fantastic blocks marked the beginning of the fourth set. The team around head coach Urmas Tali gained an edge, but could not hold on to it. Once again, too many mistakes in their play allowed Iran to achieve an incredible run towards the final 25-22. Iran’s Javad Hosseinabadi and Estonia’s Renee Teppan became the top scorers of the match with 19 points each. Iran finished the game with 10 aces while Estonia registered 11 blocks.
Brazil overpowered 2012 European champions Italy in a grueling match (25-21, 35-33, and 25-23) to open their Pool D campaign. Brazil’s outside hitter Alan Souza led his team with 18 points including 2 blocks and one ace. Italian opposite Luigi Randazzo scored 20 points to top the charts in the game. Brazil started using their unstoppable sharp spike services to put pressure on the Italians. Brazil led throughout the opening set till they won 25-21. The second set was the most exciting with the Italian big gun Luigi Randazzo sending his sharp hits from all the net positions as they could not capitalize on six set points before Brazil rebounded and kept rhythm to win the marathon set 35-33. The Italian team again committed frequent mistakes in the third set, while Brazil was more motivated to keep their lead until they sealed their 3:0 win (25-23). “We are happy to beat such a strong team in our opening game” said Brazil head coach Leonardo Carvalho. “Italy is a strong team and the first match is always difficult. Our concentration must be better for the next matches. I believe we will play better in the next rounds”.
In that same group France opened their campaign with a clear victory against Venezuela (25-17, 26-24, and 25-18) at Ataturk Sports Hall in Izmir. France started the match aggressively finishing the opening set with 7 blocks and 4 aces. In the end Julien Winkelmuller anchored France with 17 points, while José Martinez contributed 10 for Venezuela.
For further information visit www.fivb.org