Sylla, Egonu and companions dominate Serbia in Belgrade-

Sylla, Egonu and companions dominate Serbia in Belgrade-
Sylla, Egonu and companions dominate Serbia in Belgrade-
from Flavio Vanetti

Azzurri in difficulty only in the first set, then a crescendo until 25-11 with no history of the fourth set. Paola Egonu is growing, but they drag Sylla and Pietrini

European champions, for ko on Serbia dethroned after two consecutive titles in front of the 20 thousand (silenced) of the Stark Arena. the gold of redemption, for the girls of volleyball. And the gold of the revenge on the opponent who in that damned quarter-final in Tokyo triggered the short circuit of a team that s, we now know, could have perhaps even won at the Games. it was a tremendous effort to go out on the pitch after that disappointment and get back to having fun, he says the coach Davide Mazzanti with his voice broken by emotion before finding the strength for an epigraph: We have done something extraordinary.

Belgrade, a new land of conquest for Italian sport. After the achievement of the basketball players, who here, in direct confrontation on the forbidden ground, had snatched the Olympic pass, here the feat of Captain Sylla and her companions. The black beast of Italy, that Serbia that had given three disappointments in a row (2018 World Championship final, 2019 European Championship semi-final, Tokyo 2020) has been chained. A devastating 3-1, set by the memory of a fourth set won with humiliating authority and from a match caught in the hardest moment, the 3-8 of the third set which seemed to prelude the home team’s 2-1.

L Italy, which in the second fraction had equalized the defeat of measure in the first, matured unfairly because Boskovic had committed an unsanctioned infringement on the 26-24 attack, raised the quality of service and reception. The successful comeback (12-12) was the springboard towards 25-19 that stunned Serbia. The pit in the stands did not work, the favorites slowly began to drown. Maja Ognjenovic, the setter, chose to use the power plants (which hit and hurt) and the hand of the opposite Tijana Boskovic with dynamite. But he neglected the gang smashers, so when Boskovic came down, the continental two-champions (and Olympic bronze) plunged into darkness.

The moral and technical state collapse. Italy sealed the match with bulwarks, with the verve of Pietrini that unleashed the freshness of his 19 years, with Chirichella and Danesi once again queens in the center, with Sylla and De Gennaro present everywhere, with Egonu finally … Egonu after still alternating phases, with Ofelia Malinov who has again replaced Alessia Orro in directing and who has valued a non-punitive relay but which on balance was a winning tactical weapon of Mazzanti.

The disappointment of Tokyo behind, along with criticism and controversy which, however, were the cradle of a splendid reaction that promises follow-up. The girls of the third blue European title – as beautiful as the two of the back to back 2007-2009 – were not faded and without backbone. No, they had a soul and they proved it. Honor to them and who has been able to bring it out.

September 4, 2021 (change September 4, 2021 | 23:37)


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