The path was not easy. On the other side, Paola Egonu demanded a game on the limit. But, when facing the biggest favorite for the title, Brazil was not scared. In a tense duel from start to finish, the selection imposed itself by force and by the hands of Gabi in Rotterdam. In 3 sets to 2, partial 25/20, 22/25, 22/25, 25/21 and 17/15, the captain scored 30 points and led José Roberto Guimarães’ team to a major victory over Italy, undefeated until this Tuesday.
The team returns to the court this Wednesday. Brazil faces Puerto Rico, its second rival in this second phase, at 11 am. Sportv2 broadcasts the match live, and ge follows everything in real time.
Brazil celebrates a point against Italy – Photo: Disclosure / FIVB
Paola Egonu (ITA): 37 points
Gabi (BRA): 30 points
Carol (BRA): 14 points
Brazil: 63 points
Italy: 64 points
Brazil: 1 points
Italy: 3 points
Brazil: 14 points
Italy: 13 points
Points on opponent errors:
Brazil: 33 points
Italy: 26 points
1st set – Brazil ignores Egonu and takes the lead
Italy opened up right away. In two consecutive attacks from Tainara out, the rivals opened 2/0. They increased soon after with an attack from Pietrini. But Brazil went looking for it at the same speed. It was Tainara herself who put the team ahead for the first time, in 4/3. It was a good start. Egonu, so feared, sent out his first attack, making Brazil open 8/5. But it was too early to celebrate. The tie point was the Italian opposite, at 8/8.
Brazil takes the first set by 25×20
Brazil was not scared. With Gabi, he scored 10/8. In the best rally of the game, Zé Roberto’s team showed strength. A shot by Pri Daroit, who had already made a beautiful save, opened 13/10 on the scoreboard and forced the time-out on the other side. The team kept up the pace. In two consecutive blocks by Carol, the selection soared on 21/17. Another Italian timeout, but nothing has changed. Gabi flew in to zoom in on the sequence. When Italy threatened to react, Zé Roberto stopped. It worked. Shortly after, Gabi flew in to close the account on 25/20.
Macris stands up during a match against Italy – Photo: Disclosure / FIVB
2nd set – Egonu grows in the game, and Italy draws the game
Pietrini opened the account in the second set. But Brazil passed soon after, with a serve out of the rivals and a beautiful block by Carol. Italy, however, came back better. It didn’t take long to regain the lead and open 6/3 on the scoreboard after Egonu’s attack. When the rivals expanded in the sequence in a positioning failure of the Brazilians, Zé Roberto stopped the game to fix the house. But Italy shot and opened 9/3 after a ball out of Tainara.
Natinha defends the ball in the match between Brazil and Italy – Photo: Disclosure / FIVB
But Brazil started to grow again. In two consecutive blocks by Carol on Egonu, the gap dropped to 9/11. But Italy has returned to impose itself. By wasting attacks in sequence, the selection returned to stagnation on the scoreboard. At Pietrini’s point, the Italians scored 17/11, and Zé Roberto stopped once more. Brazil has improved. Lorenne hit a good series on the serve and made the gap drop to 22/19. Italy stopped once again. Brazil even remained in the fight, but Italy improved with the entry of Sylla and closed the set with Egonu after a beautiful rally: 25/22.
Italy put it on the ground and took the second set by 25×22
3rd set – Brazil loses the hand, and Italy turns
Tainara exploited the block and opened the scoring in the third set. Two consecutive attacks from Italy out, with Pietrini and Egonu, made Brazil score 3/0. In the sequence, Gabi flew to score 4/0 on the scoreboard and force the timeout on the other side. Italy threatened to react, but a block from Carol Gattaz made Brazil open 7/2. Gradually, however, the Italians got it right to seek. An ace from Danesi left everything even at 9/9. The comeback came after a mistake by Pri Daroit.
The match, however, remained balanced. Italy managed to open two points in the final stretch with Sylla, scoring 19/17. In a serve by Egonu, Natinha and Pri Daroit headbutted, and Italy scored 21/18. Zé Roberto stopped the game once again. The selection even managed to postpone the end, but not for long. Italy accelerated and closed the set once again with Egonu: 25/22.
Gabi at the end nails the floor! – 3rd set 19×21
4th set – Gabi calls the game, and Brazil forces the tie-break
On the return to the court, Brazil tried to return to the game. Italy even took the lead. But Gabi left everything the same by sinking the ball into the rival court. Tainara then put Brazil ahead at 7/6. The opposite, unstable so far, seemed to grow. He scored another one in one hit shortly afterwards. On the other side, Egonu carried the actions. By breaking Gabi and Carol Gattaz’s block, he scored 12/11. But Brazil was in the game. And with Gabi on the court. It was at the hands of the captain that the team shot: 16/13.
Brazil counterattack CLASS! – 4th set, 23×19
Italy asked for time to tidy up the house. But Brazil stood firm. By opening four points on the scoreboard, the selection seemed to find its best moment again. When the rivals made the difference drop to two points, it was Zé Roberto’s turn to stop the game. He got it right. After a start from Lorenne, the Brazilian coach asked for the challenge in the middle of the point. He was sure the ball had hit the ground – and he was right. Brazil expanded in the sequence with an attack out of Egonu. With 22/19 on the scoreboard, the team showed strength and sent the tie-break. On Egonu’s out serve, all the same: 25/21.
5th set – Brazil gets bigger and closes the game
In the nervousness of the tie-break, anything was possible. The two selections came back strong, preventing the rival from opening. But, at Carol Gattaz’s point, Brazil reached 8/6 at the turn of the court. It was necessary to go to the limit – and Brazil understood that. Still, Italy reached the tie in 12/12. Zé Roberto stopped the game. In the final stretch, the game grew even more in tension. Brazil reached match point, but Carol Gattaz’s serve went wide. On the second chance, Egonu’s attack touched the block and left everything even. In the third, however, the victory. In Carol’s block, 17/15 and giant victory over Italy.
BRAZIL WIN! – 5th set, 17×15