Hiroshima, Japan, October 13, 2019 - Brazil took a huge step closer to glory at the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup on Sunday, edging their heavyweight clash with Poland 3-2 (19-25, 25-23, 25-19, 16-25, 15-11) at Hiroshima Green Arena thanks to 27 points from Alan Souza.
Brazil coach Renan Dal Zotto: “I’m very happy with today’s win, because we knew this match against Poland was going to be very important for us today. Today’s match was the ninth match in a very long tournament, so it has become very physically demanding. We knew this match was going to be very difficult and very delicate. In the tie-break Poland’s defence was very good, and that exhibited by (Michal) Kubiak in particular represented how much energy there was in this match. Both our team and Poland gave the maximum they had in this match and in the end Brazil was able to win, so I was very happy about that.”
Brazil captain Bruno Rezende: “First of all, we are really happy with this victory. The Polish team is one of the strongest teams in the world and they have really great players, so I think we started the game a little nervously. We didn’t serve as well as in the other matches, and the Polish team were good with their reception. They played really fast so it was difficult for our block and I think in the first set we didn’t work as aggressively as we have in other matches. After that I think we served better, our reception started to work better, and we played great in the second and third sets. In the beginning of the fourth set we had a lack of energy, mental energy. We didn’t have the same approach as the other sets and they started really well, so it was difficult for us to come back. And in the fifth set we played the set of our lives. I’m proud because even after not starting well, and after that poor first set, we came back again and we showed our character. That’s why I’m really proud of my team.”
Brazil player Hidalgo Yoandy Leal: “We knew that the match against Poland was going to be very difficult. Poland started with a good rhythm, in particular their reception was better than Brazil. But in the fifth set we were able to find a good rhythm and show our colours with our quick attacking. So we are happy with the win and now we need to recover our fitness as we have another match against Japan tomorrow.”
Poland coach Vital Heynen: “I think it was a very close match. We had chances in the second (set); we didn’t use (them), Brazil used them. We had some chances in the tie-break; we didn’t use (them), Brazil used them. So they are better in the end, easy. And I have to say congratulations. I mean that.”
Poland captain Michal Kubiak: “I think the game was nice for the fans, which is good. Obviously we’re not happy with the result, but 3-2 against Brazil is something that fans always like. And, obviously, congratulations to team Brazil.”
On what separated the teams here: “I think we had our chances in the second set. We felt like we had the second set under control, but obviously they ended up winning the set. They played better in the third, and then we played better in the fourth, and the tie-break was a lot of mistakes from our side. A lot of misunderstanding, but they also played very, very good volleyball. My coach also told me that (Hidalgo Yoandy) Leal was 100 percent in the tie-break, so that’s pretty good.”