Tunis, Tunisia, 26 June 2016 - Hichem Kaabi scored 25 points to lead Tunisia to a 3-1 (28-26, 25-27, 25-23, 25-18) win over Venezuela in front of a delighted home crowd in Pool E, Group 3 of the World League.
Whilst Kaabi was in fine form for the hosts, there were also excellent contributions from Ismail Moalla (14 points) and Mohamed Ali Othmen (11 Points), whilst Edson Gonzalez, Kervin Pineura and Jonathan Quijada all scored 11 points for the South Americans.
With both teams looking to finish the weekend with a 100% record, the tension was clear to see in the first set, with both teams exchanging points, searching for the spark to take control of the match. Tunisia’s Hichem Kaabi was showing his credentials at the net for the hosts as the set neared its end, and it was the home team that sneaked into the lead with a tie-break 28-26 first set win.
The hosts had delighted their home crowd and having took the first set, they began the second on top taking an 8-4 lead. However Venezuela hit back to level the set before taking a 13-12 lead, led by Edson Gonzalez, who was leading the way for the South American side. Going into another tie-break, this time it was Venezuela that had the final say, with a 27-25 win for a 1-1 scoreline.
Venezuela having taken the momentum, shot out into an early 4-0 lead and were keeping the hosts at bay, until the middle of the set, when Tunisia began to grind back the deficit and ultimately take the lead towards the end of the set. Kaabi continued his impressive form and led Tunisia to a 25-23 win and a 2-1 lead.
With both teams so evenly matched, the fourth set was again a battle that could have gone either way. As Kaabi for Tunisia was having a showcase game at the net, it was Tunisia that edged in front after an even opening to the set and seeing the finishing line in sight, they powered for the finish to take a 3-1 win after a 25-18 win to maintain their 100% record for the weekend.