Cordoba, Argentina, Jun 18, 2017 – Defending champions Serbia had to lower their flag against Brazil as Wallace De Souza scored 17 points to guide the Final Six hosts to a 3-1 victory (25-22, 25-16, 17-25, 25-23).
The Taubate opposite spiker delivered an all-round performance, adding one block and one ace to his impressive scoring tally. Wallace lifted his side to a comfortable win alongside Lucas Saatkamp (10 points) and Ricardo Lucarelli Souza (11 points) while Serbia's Marko Ivovic was limited to 12 points.Both Brazil and Serbia have already booked their ticket for the Final Six in Curitiba so they headed into their ninth and final game with one goal in mind: improve their performance to get past their last game defeat at the hands of Argentina (3-1) and Bulgaria (3-2) respectively.Both the Europeans and the South Americans have top players to make the difference, from Marko Ivovic, the competition's top spiker (77), to Lucarelli, the third best server (13 aces), or Bruno Mossa Rezende, the best setter (6.22 avg per set).
A risky start for Serbia, with lots of unforced errors in the attacking phase, saw Brazil race to a 6-3 lead early on. The Canarinhos maintained their advantage as Bruno aced (14-11). Ivovic immediately answered back with a highflying pipe but it wasn't enough to stop Brazil's self-imposed high-octane tempo and the defending champs lost the first set 25-22 after a strong Brazilian rally, who managed to contain an impressive Serbian comeback.
Another strong start from Brazil, lifted by a Bruno monster block, gave them the lead (10-5). Wallace and Mauricio Souza then turned on the style, enjoying a world-class demonstration. The Brazilians were ruthless and easily cruised to a 19-8 lead as Serbia were left toothless. In a set that will live long in memory, the Olympic champions showed plenty of agility and guile in attack to comfortably take the set 25-16.
Serbia's long nap finally ended in the third set as the defending champions came out on top (8-5). Ivovic kept up the good work as he led his team to an 18-11 lead. That spike was just what was needed for the Serbs to get back into the game : Drazen Luburic and Uros Kovacevic piled on the pressure as the Europeans cruised to a 25-17 victory.With no time to dwell on spilled milk, both teams got back into the fray, going neck and neck (7-7) as Kovacevic dominated Lucas in the block. In a tightly contested set, Podrascanin struck but so did Bruno to level at 15-15. But the Canarinhos got their noses in front as captain Bruno showed up at the best moment to block Luburic (22-20) while Wallace sealed the deal at 25-23.