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Kukartsev was the top Argentine scorer with 18 points

Uberlandia, Brazil, October 6, 2013 - Argentina survived a strong Tunisia comeback to start their Men's U23 World Championship with a 3-2 (21-14, 21-18, 13-21, 19-21, 16-14) victory on the first match day at the Arena Presidente Tancredo Neves. On day two Argentina face South American "classical" rivals Brazil (at 19.00), while Tunisia play against Egypt in the final match of the day.

Argentina claimed the first set, largely assisted by 10 errors from Tunisia, but were forced to work harder in the second set, and needed an early timeout from coach Alejandro Grossi to refocus after going behind.

Grossi's words worked and Argentina turned their deficit into a 12-9 lead at the technical timeout with opposite Pablo Kukartsev becoming the key scoring attacker as Argentina claimed the set 21-18.

Grossi needed another early timeout as Argentina started the third set slowly, but Tunisia got into a small lead and managed to hold it, through a combination of points from captain Mohamed Arbi Ben Abdallah and wing spiker Mohamed Ali Ben Othmen Miladi, and win the set 21-13.

Tunisia carried their confidence into the fourth set and Ben Abdallah was again prominent, as was middle blocker Mohamed Ayech, as Tunisia claimed a close set 21-19 to send the match into a tie-break.

Wing spiker Nicolas Mendez was Argentina's key player in the decider, contributing crucial receptions and blocks as his team just held off Tunisia's challenge to win the tie-break 16-14.

The two new rules to be tried at both U 23 World Championships, after several feed backs from Mexico women’s will be now tested only in Brazil’s men’s. They are a) to play 21 points per set (apart from the fifth set, which was to remain until 15) and b) to limit the time between serves to 15 seconds. The women’s tournament will now be conducted under the original FIVB Rules of the Game.

Mixed Zone:

Nicolas Mendez, Argentina player: "It turned out to be a tough game for us. As the sets went on, they started playing more relaxed and their attack became very difficult to handle. However, I think this is great for us, not only for having won, but also because this will teach us to play at our maximum the whole match."

Mohamed Arbi Ben Abdallah, Tunisia captain: "It was a very good game for us, but we didn't play at our 100% the entire match. We didn't get the chance to finish the game. It was a good match because we believed in ourselves."

Statistics: P2 | Photos: FeVA - FIVB