A decisive victory against France put Italy back in the semifinals
WORLD CUP BETTING SITES : Italy, three-time defending champions, advanced to the semifinals of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on Wednesday following a thrilling comeback victory against the defending Olympic winners, France.
A win would give the 1990, 1994, and 1998 World Champions a chance at a medal for the first time in 24 years after they twice rallied from sets down to defeat the French in a nail-biting, five-set match (24-26, 25-21, 23-25, 25-22, 15-12) that was thrilling to watch for the crowd in the Slovenian capital.
Later on Wednesday, at 21.00 local time (19.00 GMT), hosts Slovenia will play Ukraine at Arena Stozice, in Ljubljana, to determine who the Italians will meet in the semifinals.
With the win, the defending European champions avenged their previous season Volleyball Nations League losses against the reigning Olympic winners, including a setback in the tournament’s quarterfinals.
Italy VS France
France’s 49 mistakes (compared to Italy’s 39) were too many to overcome against a top-tier Italian squad, notwithstanding the Olympic winners’ offensive prowess (56 kills to 47). The Italians were victorious in terms of both blocks (ten to six) and aces (six to four).
Italian captain Simone Giannelli remarked after the game, “It’s great, a really pleasant feeling now.” France is a formidable opponent since they have so many talented players, making them one of the strongest teams of the recent decade. I’ve been up against them for a while, and I can’t remember the last time I had more than a handful of victories. We got off to a rough start, but after we took down their primary servers, the playing field was leveled. What an outstanding group of people! Although we are still young, we possess great strength, intelligence, and vitality.
Giannelli made excellent use of his scoring depth by getting 50 points from Yuri Roman, Alessandro Michieletto, and Daniele Lavia, his starting outside hitters. The 25-year-old Roman scored 22 points (with 17 kills, 1 block, and 4 aces) and was the match’s top scorer.
The left-handed 20-year-old Michieletto contributed 14 points with 12 kills, one block, and one ace, while the right-handed Lavia scored 12 points with 10 kills and 2 blocks.
French head coach Andrea Giani, a former member of Italy’s national team who participated in three successful campaigns for the World Cup, sent all but two of his players out on the court in an effort to establish a winning strategy.
Opposite Jean Patry, who was a substitute to begin the match, finished as the match’s leading scorer with 16 points, all coming through kills. He had 14, one more than the team’s standout outside hitter, Earvin Ngapeth, who had 13 kills, a block, and an ace. Barthélémy Chinenyeze, a middle blocker for France, scored 11 points to become the third French player in double figures (eight kills, three blocks).
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