Spectacular Brazil outlast France, Iran stun Bulgaria as World Championship continues to excite
Brazil's Luiz Felipe 'Lipe' Fonteles tries to beat the French triple block of Kevin Tillie, Nicolas Le Goff and Stephen Boyer as he guides the South Americans to victory in the most thrilling match of the day at the 2018 FIVB World Championship.
Teams advancing to 2-0 records on Thursday were co-hosts Italy in Pool A in Florence, Canada and Brazil in Pool B in Ruse, USA in Pool C in Bari, and Poland and Iran in Pool D in Varna.
Poland put up a triple block of Aleksander Sliwka, Jakub Kochanowski and Damian Schulz to stop Puerto Rico's Eddie Rivera as the defending champions break the all-time World Championship lowest-scoring record.
Other highlights on Thursday:
• Defending champions Poland broke the World Championship record for the lowest-scoring match as they defeated Puerto Rico in straight sets and 75-41 points in Varna. The previous record was 75-43 held by USA also with Puerto Rico on the wrong end of the scoreline, from 4 September 2014 in Krakow.
• Serbia fielded several subs and struggled against Cameroon, needing eight set points in the first set, as Cameroon gave the Balkan side a run for their money before succumbing in straight sets.
• Nicholas Hoag scored a tournament-high 24 points to lead Canada to their second win in the competition and a 2-0 record with a 3-0 sweep of Egypt.
• Matt Anderson of USA leads the best scorers table with a total of 40 points from two matches (both of five sets), after bagging 21 against Australia on Thursday and in addition to 19 scored on Wednesday against Serbia. Hoag is second with 36.
Canada's Jay Blankenau and Egypt's Ahmed Shafik duel on the net, Thursday in Ruse.
• Italy - Belgium 3-0
• Egypt - Canada 0-3
• Brazil - France 3-2
• Australia - USA 2-3
• Cameroon - Serbia 0-3
• Puerto Rico - Poland 0-3
• Iran - Bulgaria 3-1
Issei Otake of Japan sends the ball through the arms of the Dominican Republic's Antonio Lopez, Thursday in Florence.
Match Centres for Friday 14 September:
• Japan v Slovenia in Florence (Pool A) at 17:00 local time (15:00 GMT)
• Argentina v Dominican Republic in Florence (Pool A) at 20:30 local time (18:30 GMT)
• China v The Netherlands in Ruse (Pool B) at 17:00 local time (14:00 GMT)
• France v Egypt in Ruse (Pool B) at 20:30 local time (17:30 GMT)
• Australia v Cameroon in Bari (Pool C) at 17:00 local time (15:00 GMT)
• Russia v Tunisia in Bari (Pool C) at 20:30 local time (18:30 GMT)
• Finland v Cuba in Varna (Pool D) at 17:00 local time (14:00 GMT)
• Bulgaria v Puerto Rico in Varna (Pool D) at 20:40 local time (17:40 GMT)
Iran's Ali Shafiei gets the ball past Bulgaria's Nikolay Nikolov as the Asians stun the co-hosts in Varna.
Quick links - Volleyball:
FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship Italy-Bulgaria 2018
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