Cairo, Egypt, August 24, 2017 - Defending champions Russia handed Brazil their first defeat at the 2017 FIVB Men's U23 World Championship 4-3 (11-15, 13-15, 15-11, 17-15, 13-15 15-13, 15-8) in an amazing semifinal that saw the European side come back from 0-2 and 2-3 down in an hour and 55 minutes here on Thursday.
All matches in Cairo are played under a new scoring system currently being tested
: a best-of-seven, 15-point set format.
Russia will meet the winner of the otehr semifinal between Argentina and Cuba in Friday's final. It is Russia's second time in a final of the competition after they beat Turkey 3-2 in 2015 in Dubai.Roman Zhos, who came on for Russia off the bench, sets to Denis Chereiskii in the thrilling semifinal against Brazil.
After a very poor start, full of unforced errors and shaky receiving that saw Russia trail by two sets, coach Andrey Voronkov gradually totally changed his original lineup, including bringing on Roman Zhos as setter to replace captain Pavel Pankov. And then the fun started.
Brazil had two chances to go 3-1 up when they led 14-13 and 15-14 in the fourth. But a huge block by Denis Bogdan on Gabriel Candido followed by an ace from Kirill Klets turned it around as Russia levelled the score at two sets all.
An amazing running dig by libero Rogerio Filho to bring the ball in play at 14-13 and a subsequent net touch by Denis Chereiskii on the block got Brazil back in the lead at 3-2 sets and within a set of making the final.
But by now Russia had found rhythm and had gotten used to the vast hall (where they were playing for the first time compared to Brazil's sixth). The Europeans broke away 14-12 in the sixth and finished it with a spike from the outside by Fedor Voronkov off the Brazilian block and out of bounds.
And after Brazil took a quick 3-5 lead in the seventh, the game turned into a one-team show. Ivan Iakovlev stepped up to the serving line and Russia made an incredible run of eight straight points to go 5-11 and practically bring the game home there and then.
Russia dominated the blocking with a tournament high of 16, to Brazil's 10. Denis Chereiskii who came on in the second set was the winners' best scorer on 17 points, including another tournament high of 8 blocks.
But Douglas Souza was top scorer of the game with 19 points for Brazil.Quick links - Volleyball:FIVB Volleyball Men's U23 World Championship 2017
FIVB Volleyball Men's U23 World Championship 2017 - ScheduleFIVB Volleyball Men's U23 World Championship 2017 - Teams
FIVB.com - VolleyballFIVB.com
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