Brazil’s solid performance in the first quarter-final left no chance for Olympic FIVB Hero Facundo Conte and his teammates to claw even a set back. The skilled and experienced Brazilian squad simply outclassed their young opponents but there’s no doubt that Facundo learnt a lot from this loss and the tournament in the general and will have improved in Rio in four years time.
Brazil’s rival for the semi was to be determined in an Italy vs USA bout. The team captained by FIVB Hero Clayton Stanley was favoured to win that match, but Italy proved stronger this time (28-26, 25-20, 25-20). It’s hard to guess what went wrong with the team who had only given away one game in the pool stage, but the American winning machine wouldn’t work last night. Olympic FIVB Hero Cristian Savani was the star of his team scoring 19 points and excelling in every facet of the game.
Later in the evening the World League 2012 winning team Poland were unable to overcome Russia in the third quarter-final game (25-17, 25-23, 25-21). Maxim Mikhaylov pulled ahead in the very first set serving two aces and attacking brilliantly. However Bartosz Kurek tried to make a comeback the Polish team couldn’t cope both with opponents’ pressure and the weight of responsibility with Earls Court crowded with polish volleyball fans expecting a victory.
Bulgaria and Germany fought for the last place in the semi-finals and both teams had good chances to advance. Germans, however, played surprisingly poorly as their leader and Olympic FIVB Hero Georg Grozer couldn’t find his game. Things went right on the other side of the net for Tsvetan Sokolov, whose 22 points helped Bulgaria to claim a straight set victory (25-20, 25-16, 25-14).
The first knock-out stage is over and 4 best teams are ready to continue the Olympic quest. Who will fight for gold?
Find out soon on FIVBheroes.com!