Resistencia, Argentina, August 19, 2015 - An extraordinary game featured as Round of 16 opening chapter in Resistencia venue. Cheered by a large juvenile crowd, Italy had to use all of their energy to pass over France 3-2 (25-15, 19-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-11) and move to the quarterfinals, imposing in a stirring blocking battle by 21-18.
The Italian wall was formed by all of the Azzurri players, with Gabriele Di Martino and setter Riccardo Sbertoli leading with four caps each. On France, Mathieu Manusauaki nailed a tournament record of 8 killing blocks, while Thibaut Thoral topscored his side with 18 tallies, the same total than Italian captain Gianluca Galassi.
It looked like Italy had everything to roam past France, with an awesome total of 9 blocks in the first set only, but Les Bleus recovered and the game reached new levels of brilliance. In the fifth and final chapter, Cominetti and Sbertoli enlightened the way to the quarterfinals.
The next obstacle for Italy will be an overpowered side of Iran, arriving from Corrientes with an uprising performance. France will meet European rivals Germany in their quest for the 9th place.