Belgium were victorious against Argentina in Florence on Wednesday
Florence, Italy, September 12, 2018 - Belgium started out on their path in FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship Pool A with a solid performance. In one hour and 45 minutes of an intense match, they made their mark as contenders for Pool A leadership by defeating Argentina 3-1 (25-19, 25-19, 22-25, 25-19).
26-year-old Belgium captain Sam Deroo performed very well with 21 direct points and an average of 66% positive attacks, only one blocked, and a +17 won-lost ratio. He was helped by teammates Bram Van Den Dries and a great performance by setter Stijn D’Hulst. In Argentina’s team the most valuable players were the wing hitters Facundo Conte and Lisandro Zannotti (who played just two sets).
There were great expections for an interesting match between two coaches that represent part of the history of Italian volleyball, “the legend” Julio Velasco and “Nanu” Andrea Anastasi.
Argentina started the first set with a maximum lead of two points 8-6 and then 16-14. There were fast and spectacular plays by both teams, but there were also some unexpected mistakes committed by Argentina which let Belgium move ahead after the second technical timeout. Seven points scored by captain Deroo were the key to Belgium's success.
The second set started with some good blocks by Belgium middle blocker Simon Van De Voorde, and some good blocks by Argentina. Julio Velasco called a timeout at 11-14 and reorganized his team and they quickly tied at 14-14 with a couple of great blocks by Lisandro Zanotti and Sebastian Solé. There was another timeout at 16-20 and again Argentina got some points after several attacking attempts. But Belgium won 25-19 again.
Argentina struck back at the beginning of the third set, leading 3-0, a three-point cushion that they maintained until the first technical timeout at 8-5. Conte scored a key point at 22-18 and the South Americans held the advantage to claim the set 25-22.
In the fourth set and after the second technical timeout, Belgium scored a couple of points with great compact team blocks that put them ahead. The decisive point was a spike by substitute Hendrik Tuerlinckx, his only one in the final set.