Poprad, Slovakia, June 2, 2017 - Australia begins World League with a won tie-breaker against Portugal 3-2 (21-25, 25-20, 25-18, 22-25, 20-18). Paul Carroll remained calm as his teams fought against Portugal in of the longest matches of the World League.
His teammate Nathan Roberts was the bets scorer for Kangaroos with 28 points, followed by Carroll with 23. Portugal gave Australia run for their money, keeping the ball in play when Australia was about to close the deal at 14-13. Despite extending the set until 20-18, Europeans eventually lost the match. Their best scorers were Alexandre Ferreira with 22 points and Marco Ferreira with 18.
Portuguese team showed more consistency in the opening parts of the game. Australians made many service mistakes and Portugal lead 9-7. The team from Europe held the lead also in the second part of the set, but then Nathan Roberts hit two aces in a row and Australia levelled the score to 18. But Portugal finally won the first set 25-21.
Australia started better in the second set. Travis Passier showed great service and put his team in the lead of 4-1. Both teams had very good side-out and played high level of volleyball. Australia was still few points ahead, especially their biggest start Paul Carroll was almost unstoppable in attack. First set was finished with nice nice block by Samuel Walker and Australia won 25-20.
Australia continued to play in great fashion. The team mentored by Mark Lebedew pushed the opponents by strong service and quickly build big lead. Coach of Portugal Hugo Silva tried to stop their opponents with changes in line-up, but it didn’t help. Australia lead 17-11 when Carroll finished the rally. Australia won the second set 25-19.
Fourth set was very though, both teams played consistently and the score was close. Portugal was little bit ahead and when captain Alex Ferreira made nice spike, his team lead 19-17. Portugal won 25-22 and the match had to be decided in tie-break. Match schedule for Saturday
Fifth set was very interesting. Australia lead 14-11, but Marco Ferreira put really strong service and put Portugal to lead 15-14. In crazy end finally won Australia 20-18 and collected first victory in World League 2017.