Australia's World Championships campaign over after 1-3 loss to Cameroon
Modena, Italy, September 27, 2010 – Cameroon overcame a one-set deficit to outlast Australia 3-1 (21-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-19) for its first victory in Pool C at Modena and first ever at the FIVB World Championships, not withstanding consolation finals.
The loss sent the winless Australia out of the competition while the team from Central Africa travels to Ancona. Cameroon beat Venezuela in a consolation final for 13-16 spots at the 1990 Men's World Championship, which represents their only appearance in Volleyball's premier event prior to this edition.
“You can’t imagine what this victory means for people in Africa,” said an emotional Peter Nonnenbraich, the German coach of Cameroon who choked at the press conference and broke in tears.
J.P. Ndaki, who plays for the Japanese Sakai Blazers team based in Osaka, led the winners with 26 points and now totals 65 in three matches. Nathan Wounembaina contributed 19 points to the victory and Maliki Moussa added 8. Paul Carroll and Igor Yudin topped the Aussies with 17 and 16 points respectively.
Today’s clash was the decisive one for staying in Italy for next round. The two coaches confirmed the starting six of previous matches with just one change from Cameroon: Mboulet (nicknamed JP San because he plays in Japan) is switched to the outside hitter as Feughoud moves to opposite. At the first technical time-out Australia leads 8-6. Cameroon commits a few errors and Australia takes an advantage 18-13. Cameroon narrows the distance thanks to Feghoud’s attacks (18-16). Carrolls’ ace brings Australia on 24-19 and a serving error by Wounembaina gives the set to the Aussies (25-21).
The second set takes a more balanceds approach. Many fans in the stands take side with Cameroon while the African players find their way to produce some good volley especially in attack. Cameroon reaches the second technical time out in the lead 16-16, driven by its leader JP San. A good blocking performed by Zonzon sends the Africans to a two-point lead (18-16). Youdin and Hardy find the produce an evene. Wounenbaina’ block offers Cameroon an important break (22-20) and then another decisive block by JP San gives the African side its first set since the start of the Championship (25-22).
In the third set, Cameroon keeps performing some good volley and gains a wide advantage (9-4). Youdin and Hardy shorten the distance (14-13). The match becomes more intense and therefore more interesting. The talented Wounembaina (who plays for Noliko Maaseik, Belgium) scores with a good attack that allows Cameroon to take a wide lead (19-15). JP San puts the winning 25-21 ball on the ground, in the middle of loud cheers from many Cameroun supporters conveyed at PalaCasaModena.
The combination of Ndaki and Wounembaina continue to land powerful attacks on the other side of the net and the confidence of Cameroon goes in crescendo as they take the lead 13-10 and 16-12. The gap between the two sides keeps expanding and the fans start to chant for a victory they can see around the corner. Australian coach opts for the duo Alexander setter and Edgar opposite. JP Ndaki’s spikes are almost unstoppable and Cameroon flies to leads of 20-16 and 23-17. One laser-shot from the arm of Ndaki seals the victory 25-19 and Cameroon claims its first win ever in the history of the World Championships with the players celebrating with an emotional dance.