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Wroclaw, Poland, September 2, 2014 – Alexandar Atanasijevic led Serbia to a 3-1 (25-17, 20-25, 25-21, 25-21) win against Argentina in the fourth match of Pool A on the FIVB Men’s World Championship Poland 2014 at Centennial Hall on Tuesday. Both teams have 1-1 win-loss record after two outings in Pool A.

•Serbia won despite committing 35 unforced errors

•Serbia are now 3-0 against Argentina in World Championship matches

Atanasijevic’s 18 points, led five players with double digits in the scores for the winners. Nikola Kovacevic followed with 13, Dragan Stankovic and Marko Podrascanin each contributed 12 points and Milos Nikic chipped in with 10. Jose Luis Gonzalez and Facundo Conte were the top scorers for Argentina with 14 and 11 points, respectively.

It was a nervy start to the match by Serbia who committed errors with both their serving and spiking. They were losing points mostly because of Aleksandar Atanasijevic's mistakes, but the blocking of Marko Podrascanin and Milos Nikic was the reason why Argentina could not establish a comfortable lead. The teams were exchanging points until the second technical time out. As the scoreboard showed the score at 13-all, Serbia started to play more aggressively. They won four points in a row and Argentina were trying to catch up thanks to impressive spiking by the likes of Crer, but focused Serbia were systematically increasing their lead. Head coach Julio Velasco asked for two time-outs for Argentina, however it did not help his team. Serbia won the first set 25-17 following a triple block by Nikola Kovacevic, Marko Podrascanin and Nikola Jovovic.

The second set began with Serbians leading, but again their mistakes caused a temporary tied score. Argentina managed to take the lead following the triple block by Nicolas Uriarte, Javier Filardi and Sebastian Sole, and they scored another point after an ace by Jose Luis Gonzalez who was finishing almost every spike with a point. Meanwhile in Serbia team, Atanasijevic and Podrascanin were spiking well but still Argentina kept at least a two-point gap. Following the second technical time out, the Argentineans were even more effective in finishing. Martin Ramos, Javier Filardi and Facundo Conte were unstoppable and the Serbians made error after error giving the South America team the set 25-20.

Again, Serbia started the third set a bit better than Argentina but their errors and Conte’s great attitude forced head coach Velasco’s team into the lead. Atanasijevic’s superb spikes for Serbia were stopping their opponents, but Argentina led 8-7 at the first technical time-out. Serbia managed to take a lead after the break as they showed an enormous devotion in almost every action. They did not let Argentina finish their spikes and thanks to Podrascanin and Nikola Kovacevic, Serbia quickly scored a four-point lead to make it 14-10 in their favour. Eventually, head coach Igor Kolakovic’s team were making less mistakes and spikes from Atanasijevic and Stankovic were too strong for Argentina. When Serbia were leading 23-15 it was almost sure that team from Europe would win the set. Unexpectedly, Argentina managed to find something from somewhere and they moved back to within touching distance as they scored six points, but Uriarte’s serve error gave the Serbians a second set, winning 25-21.

Atanasijevic’s spikes caused a quick Serbia lead at the beginning of the fourth set and they got off the court for the technical time out four points ahead. Argentina were scoring points mainly because of Serbian service errors, but blocks and impressive spikes were a strong point of Serbia’s play and they increased their lead to six points. Following the second technical time out, Argentina scored three points in a row and Kolakovic decided to make a change. Srecko Lisinac replaced Stankovic and immediately Serbia regained a four-point lead. Argentina were making it difficult for Serbia to win the match, but the world No. 6 ranked team won the last set 25-21 and picked up a first victory on this championship.

Press Conference:

Serbia head coach, Igor Kolakovic:“It was a very difficult match for us. We made some serious mistakes and we were quite nervous at the beginning but after the first break we started to play much better. I don’t think that we start badly every big event but of course we get experience and we try to play better in the next meetings. Now we have to forget about this victory because in front of us there is a very important match with Australia”.

Serbia captain, Dragan Stankovic:
“I want to congratulate my teammates for this victory. We showed character and I am surprised that today we played with such energy because we did not show it in the first match with Poland. Hopefully we will play like this until the end of this championship. It was more difficult to play at the stadium than here because we used to play at the halls like this one. We feel really good here and I hope it will stay like this for the next meetings”.

Argentina head coach, Julio Velasco:
“First of all I want to congratulate Serbia for this victory. Their situation was difficult after the first match with Poland. Today they played better than us, especially in the defence and counterattack. We had problems with serves.

On his time coaching Iran:

“I do not regret that I am not Iran’s coach, although I know that they will go far on this championship. As I said for thousand times, I want to work with my own country so Argentina is the right place for me”.

Argentina captain, Javier Filardi:
“It was not a good match for us. We have to work to show ourselves better in the next matches”.