Dutch shock world - again, as World Championship provides new thrills


France's Thibault Rossard gets through the triple block of the Netherlands'Gijs Jorna, Thomas Koelewijn and Daan Van Haarlem in yet another thrilling upset win of the Dutch - the second in as many days at the 2018 FIVB World Championship.

Lausanne, Switzerland, September 16, 2018 - For the second day in a row the Netherlands left the volleyball world in shock, beating France in five sets 24 hours after they stunned Brazil at the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship. The Dutch again thrilled the fans in Ruse, as they came back from two sets down to force a tie-break and then brought it home on a successful block-touch challenge for an attack by Michael Parkinson for match point.

It was the Netherlands' first win over France since 1990 in a World Championship and since 2000 (in the World League) overall.

Sunday's results leave six teams undefeated in cities across the co-host countries of Italy and Bulgaria: Italy and Slovenia in Pool A in Florence; Canada in Pool B in Ruse; USA in Pool C in Bari; and Poland and Iran in Pool D in Varna.

Puerto Rico's Maurice Torres celebrates a point with coach Oswald Antonetti Cameron. Despite the Caribbean side's loss to Finland, Torres became the second-most prolific scorer in the history of the World Championship.

Other Sunday highlights:
• Finland blew a 24-22 lead in the third set and wasted a total of three match points in a bid to finish their match against Puerto Rico in three, but finally got it right in the tie-break for their second win in four matches - leaving the Caribbean side winless.
• In this game Puerto Rico's Maurice Torres scored a tournament-high 37 points and joined the exclusive list of players who have bagged 30 points or more in a single World Championship game. He is the second Puertorican to make the list, after Hector Soto who (amongst his five entries) holds the all-time record of 38 points from his country's 3-2 win over Argentina in 2006.
• Nimir Abdel-Aziz also broke the 30-point mark, scoring 31 for the Netherlands in the match against France and becoming the second player in this World Championship to make the list.
• At 2 hours 29 minutes this was the longest-lasting game so far in the 2018 World Championship. It ties the all-time record from 2014 and the Iran v USA (3-2) game in Krakow.
• For the first time ever in a World Championship game Egypt beat China for their first victory of the competition, as the Asians remained winless after four matches.
• On the back of his 28 points against Egypt, China's Jiang Chuan shot to the top of the best scorers list, with a total of 77. Nimir Abdel-Aziz of the Netherlands has moved to second place with 68.

Italy's triple block of Ivan Zaytsev, Daniele Mazzone and Filippo Lanza stops the Dominican Republic's Jose Caceres, Sunday evening in Florence.

Match Centres:
Japan - Belgium 1-3
Dominican Republic - Italy 0-3
China - Egypt 1-3
The Netherlands - France 3-2
Cameroon - USA 0-3
Serbia - Australia 3-1
Puerto Rico - Finland 2-3

Egypt's Ahmed Shafik gets the better of China's block of Chen Longhai and Mao Tianyi, Sunday evening in Ruse.

Play continues on Monday, September 17, the penultimate day of the first round, in Florence, Ruse, Bari and Varna with eight more 1st Round pool play matches:

Match Centres for Monday 17 September:
Japan v Belgium in Florence (Pool A) at 17:00 local time (15:00 GMT)
Argentina v Slovenia in Florence (Pool A) at 20:30 local time (18:30 GMT)
Egypt v The Netherlands in Ruse (Pool B) at 17:00 local time (14:00 GMT)
Brazil v Canada in Ruse (Pool B) at 20:30 local time (17:30 GMT)
Russia v Cameroon in Bari (Pool C) at 17:00 local time (15:00 GMT)
Australia v Tunisia in Bari (Pool C) at 20:30 local time (18:30 GMT)
Cuba v Puerto Rico in Varna (Pool D) at 17:00 local time (14:00 GMT)
Iran v Poland in Varna (Pool D) at 20:30 local time (17:30 GMT)

Quick links - Volleyball:
FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship Italy-Bulgaria 2018
Results and ranking
Volleyball TV


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