Russia to face Brazil in semifinals


The Russian team celebrate their victory over Italy on Thursday.

Tijuana, Mexico, September 17, 2015 - Russian coach, Mikhail Nikolaev thinks about in facing Brazil after the victory over Italy in the last match of second pool phase at the FIVB Men’s U21 World Championship.

“Today we played very well. We are at the semifinal. I’m very happy about the result we had today, so we prepare to face our next rival,” said after the match against Italy. “Brazil is a very strong team, so we must be prepared against them. If we play good we win.”

Italy fought hard against Russia in the second set. Captain Pavel Pankov, admitted that the moment was really difficult for the Russian team. “It was, Italian guys played very good tactical volleyball. It was not bad for us but really difficult for us to defend,” the player said.

“Now for the semifinals we feel we are ready and one hundred percent as we have the technical and physical preparation,” he added.

“Russia is very, very strong in service and block, and we tried to win this match. First of all we tried to play well. I asked my players to play a good match,” said Michele Totire, coach of Italy. “I know that Russians are so strong and maybe the strongest of the World Championship.”

However he feels satisfied because his player tried to go to the court and play good. “I hope for next match to improve, because we want the fifth place”.

Tiziano Mazzone the Italian captain also shared his opinion: “Today it was tough for us, but we played a good match, especially in the second set, and we gave all we had. But Russia defined concrete plays and on our side we could not get in tho the final four, however we will look ahead to finish fifth.”


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