Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 8, 2016 - There is always a lot of excitement in the two countries, when South American giants Brazil and Argentina play each other in any team sport. This is true in women’s volleyball as well, although historically the two squads have not been a real match for each other. So the Maracanazinho is sure to attract a large crowd on Monday evening when the landmark volleyball hall hosts the women’s Pool A clash between the two South American neighbours and archrivals at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Hosts Brazil confirmed their status as the heavy favourites for the Olympic title with a speedy 3-0 (25-14, 25-21, 25-13) victory over Cameroon, but tougher challenges lay ahead. Although Brazil’s next opponent is Olympic rookie Argentina, coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes leaves no room for underestimation: “I have seen strong teams defeated by teams not that strong. You need to focus on the opponent in front of you before you plan ahead.”
Argentina face a really hard start of their first ever Olympic campaign. Before Brazil, they had to play against another one of the medal favourites, Russia, and suffered a 0-3 (13-25, 10-25, 16-25) defeat on Saturday. Tanya Acosta was the squad’s best scorer with 12 points. “I do not think we showed our real level,” captain Paula Nizetich commented after the match. “We are better than that and I hope we can improve for the next match against Brazil.”
Brazil and Argentina met at the South American Championship in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia on October 1, 2015 and the Brazilians claimed a 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-14) victory.