Montreux, Switzerland, June 2, 2016- Reigning champs Turkey edge U23 world champions from Brazil in a breath-taking five-setter 3:2 (25-19, 26-28, 20-25, 25-21, 15-12) to keep the dream of the back-to-back title alive.
The ambience at the Pierrier Sports hall was incredible, Turkey hit the court to win the second ticket to the semi’s and anxious Brazil wanted to win their first game to secure their chance in the tournament. The first set started off and continued extremely tensed with rallies and ties. The game also started off with each team testing their opponents defence for it to be used later on to secure spiking gaps. Both the teams were at similar strength but the flow of the game caused a stir when Turkey was ahead by 20-18 and Turkey argued that the ball didn’t touch the floor which was challenged and later Ferhat Akbas won a critical point. Turkey unravelled the young Brazilian defence and won by 25-19 for the first set.
Brazil started the second set more controlling however, Turkey crept right behind Brazil not letting go of the set. Towards mid-set, the young passionate Brazil formed an excellent strategy loosening the Turkish set, Brazil 14- 6 Turkey. The battle towards the end of the set gave hope to Turkey as they attempted to creep back behind making a comeback as Brazil made errors and the score came to 26-26. Tensions were high and the crowd stood up towards the finish chanting their favourites however; Brazil won a point at match point when Turkey made a positioning mistake. Brazil 28-26 Turkey.
The third set started off extremely tense but Turkey by an inch dominated the first part, it was still the same strength but Brazil caught up at 10-10 forcing young Turkey Coach Ferhat Akbas to take timeout. Brazil managed to make a quick comeback after continuous errors made by young Turkey setter Nursevil and serving out for the last point led to Brazil winning 25-20.
The fourth set started off with a long rally as Turkey attempted to use their last chance to stay in the game and Turkey challenged twice and won two points TUR 4-2 BRA. The Brazil coach Wagner took an early timeout to warn his students. Towards mid-set, both teams used each other’s mistakes and took advantage of them. The challenge system was used several times in the set and Turkey won 5 points by it. The set ended with a vigorous battle but Turkey managed to secure their chance for the tie break set by winning 25-21.
Turkey started off the tie break set dominating, Wagner took his first timeout when Turkey was ahead at 5-2 but soon Brazil caught up 12-12. The crowds stood up and held their breaths for this incredible close match, Turkey won the incredible battle by 15-12. Polen Uslupehlivan scored 28 points to the Turkish team.
As a consequence, the "Filenin Sultanlari" remain in contention for the crown at the Montreux Volley Masters. Ferhat Akbas' squad, however, have to hope that the U23 FIVB World Champions are going to shine against Belgium tomorrow.