Ruse, Bulgaria, September 13, 2018 - Full hall, amazing rallies and great volleyball! The clash of titans between Brazil and France turned in a real masterpiece and left more than 4500 spectators in the Monbat Arena breathless. The current Olympic champions were three points behind in the final tie-break but managed to come back and to achieve a second victory in Pool B 3-2 (25-20, 25-20, 20-25, 23-25, 15-12).
Wallace was the top scorer for the winners with 20 points. Lipe added 15 and Douglas Souza finished with 14. For France Earvin Ngapeth scored 22.
From the very first point the clash between these two volleyball giants promised to be a real masterpiece! The strategy of the current Olympic champions was clear from the beginning – powerful serve and block. The players coached by Renan Dal Zotto stuck to the plan and after another amazing single block by Lipe who stopped Earvin Ngapeth, they had a huge 4-point advantage (19-15). On the other hand, France made a lot of mistakes in the first minutes and Brazil was one set ahead after 25-20.
In the second set, the Brazilians continued with the aggressive serving and were 4 points ahead by 21-17. France coach Laurent Tillie tried to change the situation on the court with some substitutes, but after a powerful ace by Lipe and a monster single block by Evandro Guerra, Brazil won the second set by 25-20.
In the beginning of the third set one, of Tillie’s subs, Antoine Brizard, surprised the Brazilian’s reception with two aces in a row to secure a 5-point advantage for France (8-3). Nicolas Le Goff scored another ace, Earvin Ngapeth finished a long rally with a great spike and the Europeans were back in the game (11-5). Brazil answered with great efforts in defense and with good blocking changed the result to 14-16. In the end the other two golden French subs Thibault Rossard and Jean Patry were on fire in attack and led France to 25-20 in the third set.
The French efforts from the service line continued in the fourth set and after two aces by Rossard and Ngapeth, the Europeans were 3 points ahead (8-5). Despite the perfect start, Tillie’s players couldn’t manage to keep this high-level performance going and started to make some unforced errors. The Brazilians used this and took the lead at the technical time-out (16-14). In the end Ngapeth stole the show with an incredible single block against Lucas Saatkamp and gave his team a two-point advantage (19-17). France managed to save its lead and take the match into a tie-break after 25-23.
In the tie-break France continued to play with great confidence and to fight for every single ball on the field. Lyneel scored an ace and made it 10-7, but with the well-known weapon – the block, Brazil took the lead by 11-10. In the last minutes Lipe stopped Ngapeth with another huge single block, Saatkamp scored an ace and the South Americans won the match at 15-12 in a truly breathless tie-break!