Brazil tops pool B over Mexico in five thrilling sets

CALI, Colombia, November 28, 2021. - Brazil topped pool B winning a five-set thriller to Mexico 3-2 (19-25, 25-15, 25-23, 23-25, 15-7) in the men’s volleyball tournament of the I Junior Pan American Games on Sunday at Evangelista Mora Coliseum.

After a rough start Brazil needed five sets to subdue Mexican attackers and finish the preliminary round unbeaten. Both teams advance to the semifinal round of the tournament.

Brazil’s blocking made the difference, finishing with a huge 16-7 margin and benefiting from 43 Mexican unforced errors. Mexico led 56-43 in attacks and 7-5 in serves, scoring on 25 Brazilian errors.

Outside hitter Adriano Fernandes was Brazil’s top scorer with 17 points, joined by opposite hitter Guilherme Sabino with 12 points, outside hitter Joao Cordeiro and middle blocker Pietro Pereira scored 10 points apiece.

Three Mexican players scored double-figures, led by outside hitter Josué López with 18 points, opposite hitter Diego González also scored 18 points and middle blocker Axel Tellez contributed with 13 points.

Joao Cordeiro, captain of Brazil: “It was a great match, very important for our team and we are really excited for the result, I believe we are in route to reach the final. Mexico’s serves were really strong and we had difficulties in receiving in the first and third sets; we won with our strength”.

Renan Dal Zotto, head coach of Brazil: “It was a high-leveled match, maybe with ups and downs because of the pressure, but it’s important for our young players to have this experience for them to develop as players. No matter who is our opponent in the semifinal, we expect a hard game because at this age it’s difficult to manage the emotions, but they also learn how to control the match”.

Jorge Azair, head coach of Mexico: “This is a learning experience, to have patience with this age-group. The team fell into anxiety and the opponent scored on our errors. The good thing was that we showed we are at the level of teams like them and now we must have emotional stability. Now we forget pool-play and the important match is tomorrow, the next matches will be to death”.