"We had the opportunity to beat a great team," lamented Javier Weber, the South American team’s coach, while his Cuban counterpart expressed his delight at the attitude adopted by his players.
The second match was a well-fought duel during which neither of the contenders gave up the fight, but the home team dominated with its terrible spikes, although the Argentines displayed good combinations in the central zones and responses on the counterattack.
Cuba’s attack was led by Fernando Hernández with 21 points, followed up by captain Robertlandy Simón and Joandry Leal, both with 12 points.
The best attacker on the Argentine side was its captain Guillermo García, with 21 points, and supported by Lucas Ocampo (13)and veteran Alejandro Spajic (10).
The Cubans won 3-1 in the first game with scores of 25-23, 25-20, 21-25 and 25-18.
With his lethal spikes and serves, young Wilfredo León – aged 16 years – was his team’s top scorer (17), while Argentine Gustavo Scholtis (19) made the grade for his team.
In the other Group D encounter in Stuttgart, Germany surprised everyone by beating Poland (3-1), 2006 world runner up and also coached by an Argentine, Daniel Castellani.
The 2009 champions, Brazil, beat Bulgaria twice (3-1 and 3-2) in Group A, while Holland defeated South Korea 3-0 in both games.
In Group B, Italy thrashed France 3-0 and repeated the victory with a 3-2 finish in the second game, while Serbia beat China, 3-0.
In Group C, Olympic champions the USA lost for a second time against Russia, 3-1, following the initial defeat of 3-0, while Egypt beat Finland 3-2 in the first, losing against their rivals for the second game, 3-1.