One of Gutierrez's powerful hits in the match against Turkey
Brno, Czech Republic, June 25, 2017 – A phenomenal performance by Miguel David Gutierrez
at the net fuelled Cuba
’s engines on the way to a hard-fought 3-2 (25-21, 23-25, 22-25, 25-20, 15-7) victory over Turkey
in the direct battle between the two sides for one vacant spot among the best eight teams of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship.
Gutierrez had seven kill blocks, two aces and 15 successful spikes for a total tally of 24 points in the match. His teammate Miguel Angel Lopez
contributed another 21 points to Cuba’s win. Adis Lagumdzija
topped the scorers’ chart on the other side of the net with 19 points.
Powered by Gutierrez’s great spiking and blocking performance, the Cubans took control of the scoreboard between the two technical time-outs and cruised to a 25-21 close of the first set. Turkey reacted accordingly and, stepping up their blocking efforts in the second set, came from behind to win it by 25-23. In a very feisty third set, Turkey lost middle blocker Yunus Emre Tayaz
to an ankle injury and both sides were decorated with red cards before the European squad finished it off at 25-22. Osniel Lazaro Melgarejo
contributed six points to Cuba’s 25-20 domination in the fourth set, prompting a decisive fifth set. The tie-breaker, however, lacked the drama of the rest of the match. The Caribbean squad established total control and cruised to a speedy 15-7 win, shaped up by Lopez with a powerful and well-directed hit for the last point.