Surprise, surprise! Argentina stop Polish machine at the World Championship


Varna, Bulgaria, September 21, 2018 - Argentina delivered one of the biggest surprises at the 2018 FIVB World Championship! The South Americans defeated the unstoppable Polish machine by 3-2 (16-25, 25-19, 25-23, 23-25, 16-14) in the Palace of Culture and Sports.

The players coached by the legendary Julio Velasco lost the opening set, but were absolutely brilliant and achieved their third victory versus this opponent in the history of this major volleyball event! 

In the opening set the current World Champions took the control on the field from the very first point and won it by 25-16.

Jakub Kochanowski topped the list of the Polish scorers with 5 points, whereas Bartosz Kurek, Artur Szalpuk and Aleksander Sliwka added 4 points each. The second set was a completely different story. Argentinians stabilized their reception, the outside-spikers were brilliant in attack and led them to a 3-point advantage (17-14). The South Americans continued to play better and increased their lead by 20-15. In the end Pablo Crer was unstoppable in the middle and after an unforced Polish error in attack, Argentina won the set by 25-19.  

Julio Velasko’s players made the perfect start in the third set and took an early 4-point advantage (8-4). A few minutes later Tomas Lopes and Jose Luis Gonzalez collided when trying to safe a ball near the net and Jose left the field with an injury. Despite this, Argentina managed to win the set by 25-23 after a perfect spike by Lisandro Zanotti. 

In the fourth set Poland started to play a little bit better and the South Americans took a huge 3-point advantage (20-17). Despite this, in the end Damian Schulz stole the show with his powerful serve and Poland made a great come back, winning the set by 25-23. 

Despite the end of the fourth set, Argentinians started pretty well the tie-break and were 3 points ahead (6-3). With a good block Poland managed to come back, making the result 9-8. A few minutes later the first referee of the match Ramirez Ortiz made two controversial decisions after repeated video checks. After them Poland were really close to make their 100th victory in the history of the World Championship (14-12). However, in the end the Argentinians showed great character and achieved a remarkable win after 16-14!  

Cristian Poglajen topped the list of the scorers with 14 points for the winners! For Poland Artur Szalpuk finished with 19.