Tuesday, Jul 01, 2003
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Germany's 19-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-22 victory over Italy, which has qualified for the finals even before this weekend, in Pool B on Sunday, exposed the eight-time champion's weaknesses and Italy may not have it easy this time too.
Brazil, however, did well by beating Portugal for the second time in Bentim at 25-16, 25-23, 21-25, 25-18 on Sunday and this victory elevated the World champion to first place in Pool B.
Poland too did a great job when it thrashed Russia for the second time at 25-23, 25-19, 31-29 in Pool A.
But unfortunately the Poles could not make it to the second phase as the victories came too late.
Spain, which fought well and downed Venezuela on Sunday along with Russia, grabbed a place in the final round from Pool A.
On Saturday Venezuela defeated Spain 22-25, 25-22, 26-24, 26-24, but the Spanish side avenged the defeat next day by getting he better of Venezuela at 25-22, 20-25, 25-20, 22-25, 15-13.
Serbia and Montenegro (Yugoslavia) celebrated its final victory against the Netherlands 34-32, 23-25, 25-20, 25-18 in the company of enthusiastic fans at Novi Sad.
In another match, Cuba shocked Bulgaria 25-20, 17-25, 25-23, 25-22 at Havana in Pool C.
Russia and Spain from Pool A, Brazil and Italy from Pool B, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia from Pool C and Czech Republic and Greece from Pool D have moved into the final round.
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