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Tunisia’s Olympic dream still alive after beating Algeria

 
Mexico City, Mexico, June 4, 2016- Tunisia beat Algeria 3-0 (25-14, 22-25, 26-24, 25-21) on Saturday keeping the Olympic dream alive at the Men’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Mexico City’s Gimnasio Olimpico Juan de la Barrera.

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Tunisia won the survival battle to Algeria with huge advantage in blocking (14-7) and scoring on more attacks (53-44). Miladi Ben topped Tunisia’s scorers with 15 points on 14 attacks and one block. Also joining forces to keep Tunisia alive was Hichem Kaabi with 14 points on 11 attacks, two blocks and one ace, and Ahmed Kadhi with 11 points on 6 attacks and a match-high of 5 blocks. 

Algeria was supported by the match top scorer, Akram Dekkiche with 21 points on 20 attacks and one block; also with double figures, Soufiane Hosni and Islam Ould with 11 and 14 points respectively. 

Tunisia opened the first set with a comfortable 8-4 lead on powerful spikes, which kept on going the entire set. Algeria failed to score with Tunisia’s effective blocking. Ahmed Kadhi, Ismail Moalla and Hichem Kaabi led Tunisia first set win by 25-14. 

Tunisia’s towering blocking with Kaabi, Kadhi and Moalla stopped Algeria’s offence in the second set. Islam Ould along with Bouyousef Sofiane and Akram Dekkiche kept Algeria alive while Tunisia committed several errors in defence but remained in the lead 11-9. Algeria scored on Tunisia’s consecutive errors and with an ace by Khaled Kessai the score reached 18 all. From there on the score was tied in numerous occasions.  Algeria tied the actions with a spectacular block by Soufiane Hosni for the final 25-22.  

The third set began completely different, Algeria’s offence and blocking gained confidence keeping the score close 6-6, as they pushed hard for survival. The front line with Akram Dekkiche and Islam Ould helped Algeria jump to a 15-11 lead. Algeria continued to improve in every skill to remain on top up to 19 all. Tunisia turned the score around on Algeria’s errors. The final points were thrilling with Tunisia finishing 26-24 with a monster block by Miladi Ben.

Set four actions were close with too much in stake for both teams. Algeria had ups and downs, giving Tunisia more opportunities to score and leading comfortably 18-14. Miladi Ben continued strong, not leaving anything to luck. Tunisia won the set after losing one set point to a defence error 25-21.

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