Italy continued their undefeated run at the 2021 FIVB Boys' U19 World Championship in Tehran as Russia and Argentina followed suit with their third win and hosts Iran doubled up on Day 3 of pool play as teams jostle for position ahead of the knockout stage.
Italy, Russia, Argentina poised to top pools at Boys' U19 Worlds
Poland, Iran line up for big clash as competition heads into Round 4 of pool play
Publicado 07:34, 26 ago. 2021
Russia, the silver medallists of the last two editions of the Boys' U19 World Championship, secured their third win in this year's tournament, shutting out Cameroon 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-19) - though not without some difficulties.
It all seemed quite straightforward as Russia reached set point in the second with seven to spare at 24-17. But with Adji Abdouraman stepping up to serve for Cameroon, the African side remarkably came back with a seven-point run to draw level with Kavogo Landry their striking force.
It was not to be, however, and Klim Mozzhukhin finally got the attack right to give Russia yet another set point at 25-24 before Kavogo himself gave it away with an attacking error for 26-24.
Cameroon opened up a four-point lead about half-way into the third set at 14-10, but the Russian reserves, who had come on, turned it around for an eventually comfortable finish.
"We didn't know much about Cameroon - we just knew we had to play with all our might," said Russia coach Maxim Maximov after the game. "Unfortunately, we did not win very well. If the bench players had worked a little more motivated, Cameroon would not have been allowed to take a lead [in the third set]."
In the same pool, Bulgaria rebounded from the previous day's defeat to Russia with a solid 3-0 (32-30, 25-17, 25-15) sweep of Belgium.
Bulgaria took the long way round as they blew a 24-21 lead, allowing Belgium to extend the first set. But after four more set points (and in the meantime defending two of Belgium's) Georgi Tatarov made the kill for the last sideout and Lennert Beelaert hit wide for the last point.
Brazil, though, had to get a grip on themselves to overcome plucky Colombia in four sets, coming back from a set down to narrowly win 3-1 (27-29, 25-12, 25-12, 26-24).
The six-time Boys' U19 World Championship gold medallists built up a comfortable lead of up to five points by 19-14 in the first set, but Colombia gnawed that back to draw level at 22-22, cancelled one Brazilian set point and went on take the lead after the fourth of their own - the deciding last point coming from a block of Miguel Angel Martinez on Carlos Rodrigues.
And though Brazil responded with two overwhelming sets to go ahead, Colombia had not had their last word and went all out to try and force a tie-break. Colombia kept the pressure until the very end and actually cancelled one match point of Brazil before Martinez erred on his last attack of the game.
Samuel emerged top scorer of the game on 22 points, though just one more than Martinez. The latter's tally included four blocks, though overall Brazil dominated the skill with 17 stuffs - five from Witallo de Sousa.
In the same pool, defending champions Italy had little difficulty in dispatching Belarus 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-17) for their third win in the tournament with a match high of 12 points by Luca Porro.
Italy served seven aces (four from Porro alone) as Belarus struggled to find solutions in reception.
Elsewhere, 12 blocks (to 5) and 5 aces (to none) were good enough for Poland to deal promptly with India 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-18) without any worries.
Jakub Majchrzak was top scorer of the game with 14 points, including four blocks.
And Argentina also remained undefeated with a win over Cuba 3-1 (25-18, 25-17, 23-25, 25-13) on the back of 17 points by Giuliano Turcitu and in match prone to errors from both sides.
Action continues on Friday at the two venues of the Azadi Sports Complex with round 4 of pool play. All matches are televised live on the Volleyball World YouTube Channel, where they're also available to watch on demand.