Argentina snatch last semifinal spot in five-set saga

Italy v Poland and Russia v Argentina in the battles for the U21 World Championship final

Argentina rejoiced on the winning end of a five-set battle with Czechia on Wednesday for the last vacancy in the semifinals of the FIVB Volleyball U21 Men’s World Championship, taking place in Italy and Bulgaria. Thus, the South Americans will challenge Russia in one of Saturday’s semifinals in Cagliari. Hosts Italy will entertain Poland in the other.

Pool E

In a tight rollercoaster five-setter at the Pirastu hall in Cagliari, Czechia won the first and the fourth sets, but Argentina claimed the second, the third and the tie-breaker to triumph as semifinalists. The South Americans finished Pool E on a 2-1 win-loss record as runners-up to Italy, who outplayed Belgium in three sets. Third-placed Czechia and fourth-placed Belgium will move on to the playoffs for the fifth place, taking on Bulgaria and Brazil, respectively, in Carbonia.

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Pool F

Russia continued their winning streak since the start of the championship with a four-set win over Poland on Wednesday at the Levski Sofia hall in Bulgaria to top the final Pool F standings, while both teams had already secured their spots in this weekend’s semifinals. Russia will meet Argentina in one of the semifinals. Poland will go against Italy in the other. In the last match of the pool, Brazil shut out Bulgaria to finish third, leaving the hosts bottom of the pool standings.

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Pool G

Iran shut out Thailand to win Pool G and set up a playoff meeting with Cuba to continue their quest for the ninth place. Pool runners-up Thailand, will challenge Canada on Saturday. Wednesday’s earlier match at the Palazetto Dello Sport hall in Carbonia, for the third place in the pool started with Morocco winning their first set of the tournament, but Egypt won the next three to register their first victory of the championship and advance directly to the match for the 13th place. Their opponents will be decided in a playoff encounter between Morocco and Bahrain.

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Pool H

Canada mastered a straight-set victory over Cuba in the last Pool H match at the Levski Sofia hall on Wednesday, as both teams advanced to the semifinals in the foursome battling for the ninth place in the final U21 World Championship standings. Bahrain finished third in the pool to continue the tournament in the bracket for the 13th place.

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Quick links:
FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship 2021