TOKYO, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Defending Olympic champions Brazil beat France in a five-set marathon at Ariake Arena on Sunday to finish second in Pool B in the men’s volleyball preliminary round in Tokyo.
World number one Brazil, who also needed five sets to beat Argentina, won the first set, but the second was a see-saw battle that lasted nearly an hour as the teams pulled together. sharing 15 set points before France finally got out.
In the deciding set, Brazil saved four match points before winning 25-22 37-39 25-17 21-25 20-18 to give themselves a boost ahead of the quarter-finals.
Wallace de Souza led the way for Brazil with 23 points while Ricardo Lucarelli and Yoandy Leal added 21 and 20 points respectively. Lucas Saatkamp added 19 more and recorded a high of seven blocks.
“I feel good with the victory,” said De Souza. “I think everyone on the team has become more confident after today’s game.
“We will play well in the next game, although we don’t know who we will be up against. “
The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team beat Tunisia 25-20 25-22 25-16 to finish first in Pool B. Brazil had the same 4-1 record but finished second after being carried to five sets in two of his wins. .
“It wasn’t easy because we knew we had to win the first three sets. It was very important for us to win these sets first to take first place, ”said Maxim Mikhaylov, ROC’s top scorer with 15 points.
Earlier, Pool A leader and world champion Poland beat Canada 25-15 25-21 25-16, with Bartosz Kurek and Wilfredo Leon scoring 33 points.
“Canada took risks in the second set, so our pace was disrupted. However, we could get back into our game, ”said Pole Michal Kubiak.
Reporting by Yuka Obayashi in Tokyo and Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford
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