Sat, Nov 24, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Brazilians brush aside tired Bulgaria

AFP , HIROSHIMA, JAPAN

Japan's Kunihiro Shimizu, rear, jumps for the spike in front of Russia's Yury Berezhko during their World Cup game in Hiroshima, Japan, yesterday.

PHOTO: AFP

World champions Brazil brushed aside Bulgaria in three sets yesterday at the men's Volleyball World Cup.

Samuel Fuchs and Gustavo Endres scored 14 points each, while Andre Luiz da Nascimento and Dange Guimaraes Amaral earned 10 points a piece to lead Brazil to a 25-14, 25-21, 25-19 victory in Toyama, Japan.

Brazilian coach Bernardo Resende said the Bulgarians were tired after losing to the US in a five-set match on Thursday.

"We were able to control the game better than they did. We still have pressure to keep going, but we played with the right attitude today, fighting for every ball," Resende said.

"Now we need to think about our next match against Australia. They are a very tall team and we always have problems against tall teams," he said.

"We must try to see what we can do next," Bulgarian coach Martin Stoev said after his team's two recent losses.

"We must think that the tournament is starting again and we need to play well until the last game," he said.

Bulgaria were one of the pre-tournament favorites alongside Brazil and Russia, and all three currently sit in the top three places after five games.

The top three finishers in the 12-team round robin competition qualify for the Beijing Olympics next year.

Also in Toyama, Puerto Rico swept past European champions Spain 25-18, 25-22, 25-18 , while the US beat African champions Egypt 25-22, 25-18, 25-19 .

In Hiroshima, Athens Olympic bronze medalists Russia whipped hosts Japan 25-19, 25-20, 25-23 for a fifth straight win, moving them closer to a berth at next year's Olympics in Beijing.

Asian bronze medalists South Korea posted their long-awaited first win when they defeated Tunisia 25-17, 23-25, 21-25, 25-22, 15-9 , while Argentina downed Asian champions Australia 25-21, 21-25, 25-14, 25-23 .

"We won because my players kept their concentration throughout the game and my players had more passion and fighting spirit than Tunisia," South Korea coach Yoo Jung-tak said.

Meanwhile, Australia coach Russell Borgeaud said his young squad has had its fair share of ups and downs during the tournament so far.

"We are disappointed to lose the match, but probably like Argentina, we are a pretty young team with a couple of senior, older players," Borgeaud said.

"Argentina played some very good volleyball and were able to counter our attacks and rely on a couple of players at critical times such as [Marcos] Milinkovic and [Guillermo] Garcia, who were excellent as well," he said.

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