Tunis, Tunisia, August 29, 2019 – In the first semifinal of the 2019 FIVB Boys’ U19 Volleyball World Championship in Tunis, Russia produced a 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 27-25) shutout of Argentina on Thursday. Here is what some of the protagonists told fivb.com after the match.
Mikhail Nikolaev, head coach of Russia: “This was a semifinal, which means a very important match. So my guys were nervous. But objectively we were the stronger team on the court. We played well and the performance of our opposite striker Roman Murashko was key to our victory. Argentina are a very strong team. We play against them quite often. They have good defence and a different style of fast attack. But they had a very hard match yesterday and maybe we were fresher than them today.”
Ilya Kazachenkov, captain of Russia: “It’s amazing! I don’t know what to say... Now my thoughts are already directed towards tomorrow’s match, because we completed our job today and advanced to the final, but as soon as our emotions calm down a little we have to focus on the final itself. We’ve played Italy and we know them well. I am not familiar with the team of Egypt, but I think the Italians will progress to the final. To me personally, it’s all the same. A final is a final and we are going to be ready.”
Pablo Rico, head coach of Argentina: “I believe that Russia are the favourites to win this competition. I am happy for the way we played this game. I did all possible to win this match, but Russia is Russia.”
Pablo Urchevich, captain of Argentina (for this match): “The Russians played better than us in attack. We tried to play against them ball for ball as equals, but we could have done better. We will give everything on the court tomorrow to win the bronze.”