The Argentine volleyball team returned to an Olympic semifinal after 21 years. After that historic bronze in Seoul 1988 and fourth place in Sydney 2000, the men’s team had not managed to overcome that barrier that separates the best four from the rest. In Tokyo 2020 he did, despite the fact that he was in a very tough group stage – the four semifinalists are from the same area – and he took out Italy, runner-up in Rio 2016, in the quarterfinals.
This Thursday, the challenge was complicated and France made it impossible. He beat him in straight sets and sent him to fight for the bronze medal against Brazil. “Losing an Olympic semifinal is not easy because we may not play it again, but we have to learn from these things because everything bad turns into motivation. We will transform anger into something good for the next game“, remarked Luciano De Cecco, one of the figures of Marcelo Méndez’s team.
“We did not play our best volleyball, probably due to our shortcomings and the merit of our adversary. When one cannot display their full potential and the other plays well, it is complicated. The nice part is that we have revenge, this does not end here. head on the ground and keep pushing because we keep fighting, because we have another chance, “he analyzed.
De Cecco wants to win bronze. Photo: AP
According to the point guard, Argentina did not “surely take advantage of the opportunities” to get “up on the scoreboard.” “We have to study what we can improve. We have 48 hours”, added ahead of Saturday’s duel at 1.30 in dialogue with TyC Sports.
The South American classic appears as a new opportunity to take a metal from Tokyo. Also to take revenge for the defeat in the first phase. “Brazil is a very tough opponent, we must have a cool head to get a medal,” he said. Bruno Lima on Public TV-. But we fight and we are doing our best. We are going to do it the next game to get a medal, which is the dream we have: make history and take the bronze“.
“I’m very sad about the defeat. We had been doing things very well. In the first set, we started stick by stick, but we had a couple of situations that we didn’t know how to take advantage of and that’s when the game got away from us. We had no choice but to lift our heads and think about bronze, we have one more final and we hope to take advantage of it. We have the ability to lift our heads, we already did it in the group stage and this is not going to be the exception“, reinforced the opposite.
Bruno Lima finishes off against the blocking of Earvin Ngapeth and Barthelemy Chinenyeze. Photo: EFE
In his analysis of the game against France, the San Juan emphasized “taking advantage of the moments” in which they have the rivals “stick to stick” to win. “They defended us a lot of bombings and they knew how to take advantage of the counter. That threw us off balance and unbalanced us a bit. That was the key to this match. In the first set, we had many counterattack chances that we could not take advantage of, we were stick to stick until 20-20. Later they played a little better and could take the victory “, he deepened.
For his part, Marcelo Méndez was proud of his team’s game because – he said – “the team gave everything it had to give”. “He left everything and we all have to be happy and proud of these players that they gave the best they had at all times. They played great battles to qualify in the zone and beat Italy in the quarterfinals. We all wanted the silver and gold medals, but now we have to fight for a bronze one, “he stressed.
“They are aware that we have to fight another final, it is a final for an Olympic medal and we will go for everything to achieve that goal we want,” he said in TyC Sports
In addition, the coach stressed that against France “the attack was a fundamental difference.” “They played very well in serving, blocking, blocking and defending many balls. But we did not know how to counterattack,” he argued.
The pain of defeat that you have to heal to go for the bronze against Brazil. Photo: REUTERS / Carlos Garcia Rawlins