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Morocco win, SA lose

Morocco’s hard fought win against South Africa in Monday’s opening fixture of the championship put the former in pole position to upset the Egyptians when they met on day two of the 2010 Boys African Nations Volleyball Championship at the Western Cape Sports School in Cape Town.

Continuing with their winning ways the Moroccans notched up a well deserved 25-19 first set win.

South Africa went down for the second match in succession, this time losing out to Tunisia in straight sets 3-0 (25-17 25-10 25-17).

In the Egypt-Morocco game, Moroccan playmaker, Amine Zayani’s ability to switch his sets at the very last moment to beat the Egyptian blockers gave his team a commanding 5-1 lead in the second set.

Urged on by setter Ahmed Elganaini the Egyptian attack force slowly clawed their way back into the game. While Morocco’s quick hitter, Soufiane Faraji kept his team focused on the job at hand by being a constant thorn in the side of the Egyptians, it was Marawan Mohamed, Sherif Nassef and the lanky Mohamed Masoud who went on to restore Egyptian pride when they took the lead for the first time at 14-13.

There was no turning back for the Pharaohs as they marched on toe to toe with the high riding Moroccan outfit. With only a hair’s breadth separating the two teams on the score board, the Egyptians snatched victory with a heart stopping 27-25 win to level the scores at 1:1

While the third set was closely contested up to the half way stage, it was the Egyptians who were the first to get out of the starting blocks with a 14-9 lead through clinical finishing from Sherif Nassef and Islam Abdelkader whose time on the bench seemed to have put fire into his attack. The duo helped Egypt close proceedings with a 25-20 score line.

In the ‘do or die ‘ fourth set the Moroccans threw everything into their attack, hoping that their opponents will wilt under pressure. Digging their heels in deep the Egyptians absorbed what ever came their way and fought back. However, it came as no surprise when the Egyptian lads once again took the lead and duly converted it into a 25-20 score line to register their win in this competition.

Wednesday sees the Egyptians square up to Tunisia, the tournament favourites. A win for the Tunisians will guarantee them the number one spot as they face the less fancied Algerians in their final match. Should the Egyptians win the encounter they will go all the way to clinch gold.