Bologna, Italy, September 22, 2018 - More than 5,000 fans enjoyed the show during the second match of the day in Pool F at PalaDozza in Bologna – and much to the delight of the Brazilian fans, their favourites delivered a great 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-16) victory over Slovenia. This way the reigning Olympic champions booked their ticket to the Final Six of the FIVB Men’s World Championship coming up next week in Turin. Both teams showed great skills, but to highlight the show in the second set the players on the court amazed the audience by scoring ace after ace.
Douglas Souza (15 points) with his unstoppable attacks and Isac Santos (11 points), performing excellent on the service line and in attack, were the main heroes in the Brazilian team on Saturday.
Alen Sket (9 points), supported by Tine Urnaut (8 points), tried to change the course of the match, but his efforts weren’t enough as the players of Slobodan Kovac were struggling to find their rhythm.
In the first set the Slovenians showed nice volleyball, performing a little bit better on serve, but then Team Brazil took things under their control. Klemen Cebulj and Urnaut on the other side of the court responded immediately and got closer at 18-19. However, Klemen Cebulj could not keep his focus in the last minutes and Brazil got closer to winning the opening set, when leading at 24-21. Douglas Souza did what the supporters of Brazil expected of him and scored the winning point for 25-22.
The beginning of the second set featured some errors on serve by both teams (Lucas Saatkamp for Brazil and Tine Urnaut and Alen Pajenk for Slovenia). Precisely improving their performance in this aspect of the game helped Brazil take the leadership as first Wallace De Souza recorded one and then Isaac Santos made three aces in a row for 15-10. In these minutes of the match, it seemed that both teams were enjoying a competition on who would make more aces, as Slovenia’s Alen Sket also recorded two in a row for 15-13 and after an attack by Tine Urnaut, made another one for equalising at 15-15. After that, the spectators in PalaDozza witnessed some great and fast rallies, but again Brazil emerged victorious at 25-21.
Brazil were comfortably leading in the third set with the result being 10-7 in their favour, when Douglas stunned once again the opponents with an ace for 11-7. In these moments, Slovenia could not react to the sharp attacks of the players of Renan Dal Zotto. Things did not change a lot until the end of the set, as Brazil kept on scoring, making it difficult for Slovenia’s reception as well. The pressure was too high for Slovenia and Brazil once again confirmed their domination, winning at 25-16 for the eventual 3-0, thus securing their spot in Turin.