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Poland and Cuba complete semifinal line-up at U21 World Championship

 
Brno / Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, June 29, 2017 – In a very dramatic last match in Pool E, Poland snatched a 3-2 victory over hard-fighting Iran not only to claim the top spot in the pool standings, but also to eliminate Iran and let Cuba into the semifinals of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s U21 World Championship.

"That was not a match, it was a war," exclaimed Iran's coach Behrouz Ataei after the match. After on Wednesday Russia and Brazil qualified for the semis from Pool F, on Friday Poland and Cuba completed the line-up of the best four teams in the competition.

Saturday’s classification playoff fixtures:

Semifinals 1 - 4 (in Brno)

Classification 5 - 8 (in Brno)

Classification 9 - 12 (in Ceske Budejovice)

Classification 13 - 16 (in Ceske Budejovice)




Pool E

Cuba started the day with a four-set victory over China. This result already ensured Poland’s place in the semifinals, but the Cubans had to wait for the result of the clash between Poland and Iran. While the Iranians needed a win to surpass Cuba in the standings, the Poles wanted the first place and the victory. And they got it after five sets of exciting top-level volleyball.


Miguel David Gutierrez was once again the driving force in Cuba’s success. In their last match of the second stage of the tournament, the Cubans claimed a hard-fought 3-1 (25-21, 25-23, 24-26, 27-25) victory over China to keep alive their chances for making the semifinals. Gutierrez hammered out 24 points to become the best scorer of the match.

In an incredible nail-biting battle between two very strong teams, Poland managed to stay unbeaten at the U21 World Championship and qualify for the semifinals as the winner in Pool E. Tomasz Fornal was the main driving force behind his team’s 3-2 (27-29, 25-21, 20-25, 25-20, 15-11) victory over Iran in the last match of the pool. He was the best scorer for his team with 20 points.

 



Pool F

Despite having already qualified for the semis, Russia and Brazil put on a fierce five-set battle for the first place in the pool. So did Canada and Argentina earlier in the clash for the third place in the pool standings. It was Russia and Canada that emerged with the tie-breaker wins.


A tremendous effort by middle blocker Alexei Kononov helped Russia pull off a tight 3-2 (25-20, 21-25, 30-28, 19-25, 17-15) win against Brazil and top the final standings in Pool F on the way to a semifinal encounter with Cuba. Kononov piled up seven kill blocks for a total of 23 points in the match.

Canada’s solid blocking throughout the match, led by opposite Tariq Sani, was the main reason the North American team managed to come back from a two-set deficit against Argentina, stamp a 3-2 (23-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-11) victory and finish third in Pool F. Sani became the best scorer of the game with 25 points, including five kill blocks.

 



Pool G

Egypt will follow pool winners Italy into the ninth place semifinals from Pool G, after defeating the other contender, USA, in Thursday’s direct duel for the runner-up position. The Americans will join bottom-placed Czech Republic into the matches for the 13th place.


Omar Aly showed a great performance again and helped Egypt achieve an important 3-1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 25-19) victory over USA, which secured his team the second place in the pool. Aly scored 21 times in this match, despite the Americans’ great blocking efforts.

Although Italy and Czechia already knew which classification tiers they would be placed into, they set themselves up for a five-set battle, in which the southern Europeans, led by their best scorer in the game Roberto Cominetti (18 points), persevered for a 3-2 (23-25, 25-14, 23-25, 25-18, 18-16) victory.

 



Pool H

Turkey and Ukraine took the top two spots in Pool H to continue the quest towards the ninth place over the upcoming weekend. On Thursday, the Ukrainians shut out Morocco and advanced, after which the Turks lost to Japan, but managed to hold on to the first place on point ratio.


With 17 points by Volodymyr Ostapenko, Ukraine handed Morocco a speedy 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-23) shutout.

Japan needed a straight-set victory over Turkey to take their spot among the top two away from them. However, the Turks won the third set and cemented themselves in the ninth place semis. Japan’s Yudai Arai made 19 points on the way to the 3-1 (25-21, 25-22, 23-25, 25-20) victory to top the scorers’ chart of the match.

 



Top Scorer by Day

23 - Kento Miyaura of Japan v China on June 23
28 - Rasoul Aghchehli of Iran v Ukraine on June 24
26 - Rasoul Aghchehli of Iran v Argentina on June 25
24 - Dmitry Yakovlev of Russia v Argentina on June 27
24 - Bartosz Kwolek of Poland v China on June 27
24 - Rasoul Aghchehli of Iran v China on June 28
25 - Davy Silva Moraes of Brazil v Russia on June 29
25 - Rasoul Aghchehli of Iran v Poland on June 29
25 - Taryq Sani of Canada v Argentina on June 29

Top Scoring Performances

28 - Rasoul Aghchehli of Iran v Ukraine on June 24
27 - Tymofii Poluian of Ukraine v Iran on June 24
26 - Rasoul Aghchehli of Iran v Argentina on June 25
25 - Davy Silva Moraes of Brazil v Russia on June 29
25 - Rasoul Aghchehli of Iran v Poland on June 29
25 - Taryq Sani of Canada v Argentina on June 29
25 - Jan Martinez Franchi of Argentina v Iran on June 25
24 - Miguel David Gutierrez Suarez of Cuba v China on June 29
24 - Rasoul Aghchehli of Iran v China on June 28
24 - Dmitry Yakovlev of Russia v Argentina on June 27
24 - Bartosz Kwolek of Poland v China on June 27
24 - Miguel David Gutierrez Suarez of Cuba v Turkey on June 25

Top Individual Serving Performances

5 - Bartosz Kwolek of Poland v China on June 27
4 - Javad Karimisouchelmaei of Iran v Poland on June 29
4 - Yuri Romano of Italy v Czech Republic on June 29
4 - Tymofii Poluian of Ukraine v Japan on June 28
4 - Shayan Shahsavand of Iran v Cuba on June 27
4 - Matias Giraudo of Argentina v Iran on June 25
4 - Donovan Dzavoronok of Czech Republic v Morocco on June 25
4 - Oleh Plotnytskyi of Ukraine v Iran on June 24
4 - Kristian Cervinka of Czech Republic v Canada on June 23
4 - Miguel Angel Lopez Castro of Cuba v Russia on June 23

Top Team Serving Performances

10 - Ukraine v Japan on June 28
10 - Poland v China on June 27
10 - Czech Republic v Canada on June 23
9 - Egypt v USA on June 29
9 - Czech Republic v Morocco on June 25
9 - Japan v Egypt on June 24
8 - Italy v Czech Republic on June 29
8 - Iran v China on June 28
8 - Brazil v China on June 24

Top Individual Blocking Performances

9 - Aliasghar Mojarad of Iran v China on June 28
7 - Aleksei Kononov of Russia v Brazil on June 29
7 - Liying Zhou of China v Iran on June 28
7 - Yuantai Yu of China v Iran on June 28
7 - Miguel David Gutierrez Suarez of Cuba v Turkey on June 25
7 - Lucas Adriano Araujo Barreto of Brazil v Japan on June 25
6 - Jose Israel Masso Alvarez of Cuba v China on June 29
6 - Scott Stadick of USA v Czech Republic on June 28
6 - Mohamed Aly of Egypt v Japan on June 24
6 - Fynnian Lionel Mccarthy of Canada v Czech Republic on June 23

Top Team Blocking Performances

30 - China v Iran on June 28
18 - Egypt v Japan on June 24
17 - Cuba v Iran on June 27
16 - Iran v China on June 28
15 - Russia v Brazil on June 29
15 - Poland v Iran on June 29
14 - Canada v Argentina on June 29
14 - Cuba v China on June 29
14 - Russia v Argentina on June 27
14 - China v Egypt on June 25
14 - Argentina v Iran on June 25
14 - Canada v Czech Republic on June 23

Highest Scoring Sets

32-30 - Argentina v Italy on June 24
32-30 - Russia v Cuba on June 23
31-29 - Poland v Canada on June 25
30-28 - Russia v Brazil on June 29
30-28 - Turkey v USA on June 23
27-29 - Poland v Iran on June 29
27-29 - Russia v Argentina on June 27
29-27 - Poland v Czech Republic on June 24

Highest Scoring Matches

225 - Russia v Brazil 3-2 (25-20, 21-25, 30-28, 19-25, 17-15) on June 29
218 - Poland v Iran 3-2 (27-29, 25-21, 20-25, 25-20, 15-11) on June 29
214 - Canada v Argentina 3-2 (23-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-11) on June 29
212 - Czech Republic v Italy 2-3 (25-23, 14-25, 25-23, 18-25, 16-18) on June 29
211 - Iran v Ukraine 3-2 (25-19, 25-21, 23-25, 20-25, 15-13) on June 24
210 - Iran v China 3-2 (25-17, 23-25, 26-24, 20-25, 15-10) on June 28
209 - Czech Republic v USA 2-3 (23-25, 26-24, 25-21, 18-25, 7-15) on June 28
209 - Argentina v Iran 2-3 (21-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-18, 12-15) on June 25
208 - Turkey v Cuba 2-3 (21-25, 25-23, 25-22, 20-25, 7-15) on June 25
203 - Czech Republic v Canada 2-3 (22-25, 25-13, 25-23, 18-25, 12-15) on June 23
200 - Cuba v Iran 3-2 (25-22, 25-23, 19-25, 13:25, 15-8) on June 27

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