Argentina upset the Olympic Champions Russia without dropping a single set in both teams' first ever clash in the World League
Łódź, Poland, June 26, 2016 – Argentina needed surprisingly little time to claim a straight set victory over Russia 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 28-26) on Sunday afternoon in Łódź.
Cristian Poglajen and Nicolas Bruno stayed fearless today, scoring 13 points each. Their team forced Russia to make as many as 25 errors, creating a comfortable space for Albicelestes to do their thing. On the opposite side of the net the best scorer was Egor Kliuka with 10 points to his name.
A massive attack from the left wing by Cristian Poglajen opened the clash between yesterday’s winners. Argentia’s good start effected in a three-point lead at 6-3. Russia appeared a little bit tired after the match against Poland and they let the rivals take control over the game (16-11). Luciano De Cecco did his job well on set and played confidently to the teammates. Coach Julio Velasco’s men did the homework, neutralized Viktor Poletaev and earned first set, after 25-18 win.
Sborna started tight from the beginning of the second set, keeping in mind that Albicelestes can use even a small lead to their advantage. It did not work long, because after the first technical time-out Argentina began leaping away and soon led 17-12. Coach Vladimir Alekno seemed to be far from satisfied with the performance of his team. Nicolas Bruno and Sebastian Sole did what they pleased at the net and Albicelestes easily gained a 2-0 lead overall.
The ten-minute break brought a new face of Russian play. Alekno’s players were more focused and Poletaev gave them a two-point advantage at 6-4. South Americans managed to get their act together and quickly flipped the charts around by blocking Egor Kliuka and getting 12-10 lead. Polish fans gathered in Atlas Arena were clearly supporting Argentina, giving wings to the blue-clad team but Sborna, not used to going down without a fight, battled through and the teams met at 19 all. Kliuka’s huge kill surprised the opponents’ block and Russia led 22-21. After a dramatic and prolonged ending Albicelestes regained the power and downed the Olympic Champions 28-26.