by Alessandro Trippi
Joy for Rinaldi and Sanguinetti, great disappointment with lots of heated protests for Bruno. This is the referee of VNL’s ‘Modeniz’ quarter-final, which sees the knockout matches take place in Gdańsk, Poland.
Specifically against the owners, the green and gold, led by Bruno, lost 3-0, but with a strong protest at the point that gave the Poles the first set with a score of 26-24.
A net interference between Alan, the opposite Brazilian, and Sliuca, on video-checking, was evaluated as a point for the hosts, which angered Bruno himself and coach Renan Dal Zoto towards the second referee and above all the third whistle, in charge of the video-checking. Nothing could be done though, the final decision and the set was assigned to the Poles who then won much more easily than the other two pulled neatly by Sliwka’s 16 points and Lyon’s 11. No points for Bruno on a really bitter evening for the Modena Brazilian. The Azzurri fared much better, eliminating Argentina and thus avenging their opening game defeat in Canada and quarter-final loss at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. So clear 3-0, with Partials 25-17 25-13 25-14, there was never any doubt in the first place thanks to the performances of the capital Micheletto, Giannelli and Russo. Neither Rinaldi nor Sanguinetti found space in a match in which Vivi De Giorgi did not have to make any substitutions.
It’s hard to think there will be room for Cantera Modena’s producers in this final stage in the next two games, but already getting into the all-important Round Blue is a source of pride for them and the club. Andrea Gianni of France is also out immediately, still orphaned by Ervin Ngapith who was banned at home with a hamstring problem. The Transalpines managed to come back from 0-2 to 2-2 against the United States, led by Anderson (22 points for the former blue-and-yellow player), but succumbed in the tiebreaker. In the last quarter-finals, Japan won: 3-0 over Slovenia.
So today the semi-finals will be played again in Gdansk. The hostilities between Poland and Japan will begin at 5 pm, starting with the very closed prediction, the match between Italy and the United States will conclude at 8 pm, and tomorrow the bronze final and the grand final that will dedicate VNL 2023.
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