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Tokyo, Japan, September 22, 2015 — Italy held off a tough challenge from Argentina to claim a 3-2 (22-25, 25-20, 25-21, 20-25, 16-14) triumph in a thrilling match at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup Japan 2015 on Tuesday. Tomorrow, Wednesday the FIVB Volleyball World Cup will come to an end with Argentina facing USA 6.10 direct broadcast by DeporTV.

The first ranked two teams after the round robin competition among the best 12 teams of the world will qualify directly for the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Three teams and two berths among Poland, World Champion 2014 that stands undefeated with 29 points, followed by USA with 27 and Italy 26 while Russia and Argentina with 21 points (7-3) do not have any chances on qualifying for Rio. Poland will face Italy to give more excitement on the last match.

Osmany Juantorena was the star for Italy with 26 points, including three crucial aces at the start of the deciding set. It was Italy’s ninth win and keeps them in the hunt for a place at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Argentina’s chances however are all but over.

It was a tidy start for Argentina and they led by two going into the first technical timeout. They continued with good pace, holding the Italians back and refusing to allow them to have a run of points. A Facundo Conte block ended the set in his side’s favour.

Argentina struggled at the start of the second, with Italy finding their feet early. They pulled to within three at 12-9, but an Ivan Zaytsev block saw Italy side out as the continued to maintain control. A timeout on 22-17 failed to help Argentina before a nice set from Simone Giannelli helped Osmany Juantorena deliver a devastating spike.

Both sides struggled to break away in the third set, with the scores staying close at 10-all. But a Juantorena kill saw Italy move ahead as they grew in confidence. A Zaytsev tip over the net made it 2-1.

Argentina gained the edge early in the fourth, an ace from Luciano De Cecco taking the score to 7-2. Some efficient passing helped the world No.7 keep the lead and although Italy tried to mount a comeback, Argentina’s side out game allowed them to remain out of touch as a Zaytsev serving error took the match to a fifth set.

It was the perfect start in the decider for Italy with Juantorena belting two aces at Argentina prompting Julio Velasco to call for the timeout. But another incredible Juantorena ace put the Italians three up. But a block error saw Argentina put Italy on the back foot at 9-8. A superb Zornetta block edged Argentina closer to match point as the pressure started to build for Italy. They saved a match point before Pasquale served the most audacious of aces to give Italy their own chance at taking the game. Argentina failed to side out, with Giannelli putting up the block to give Italy the win.

Press Conference:

Gian Lorenzo Blengini was relieved to see Italy come out of their five-set match against Argentina on the winning side.

Italy coach Gian Lorenzo Blengini:I'm very happy to win. It was a tough match. I'm very happy to win. I expected a difficult match. We tried to minimize our errors. They served well and received well. They have a good setter. Our serves were good and that gave us good opportunities. On the serves I always tell the players to hit to the weaknesses of the opponents. I sometimes give specific directions about targeting specific players.

Argentina coach Julio Velasco:It was a nice match. They won and have the possibility to qualify for Rio. We are sad because Italy played better than us in the final points. Their jump serves made it tough for us. We started 3-0 down in the fifth set but we came back and had a chance to win. I hope we can recover and play tomorrow. We did not expect to qualify for the Olympics directly from here, but we will fight to the last match. We have the South American qualifying tournament in Venezuela in October.

Italy captain Simone Buti:It was a satisfying victory. I thought today would be an important match. Argentina is always a tough opponent. I'm happy to win in five sets. Now we have to get ready for tomorrow's match. Argentina was good at tosses today. The fifth set was good. Either team could have won.

Argentina captain Luciano De Cecco:It was a great match. We enjoyed and learned a lot from this experience. We hope that Italy will qualify for the Rio Games.

Argentina player Luciano Zornetta:It was a great game. Italy is a high-level team. They are always a good rival. I used to think Italy was better than us, but after today I know now that we are equal.