Brazil were about to lose their hegemony on the continent but made an impressive turnaround in the final of the 2019 South American Championship held in Temuco and Santiago, Chile. The “Seleção” defeated Argentina by a 3-2 (24-26, 22-25, 31-29, 25-20, 15-13) to win its 32nd title (27th straight) in 33 editions of the event. The only time Brazil failed to clinch the gold medal was in 1964 in Buenos Aires, when they did not participate due to the unstable political situation in the country (Argentina became champions that year).
Brazil head coach Renan Dal Zotto brought a mixed team to Chile with many young players that are about to become the backbone of the team in the near future (Matheus Santos “Pinta”, Cledenilson Souza, Hugo Silva, Vitor Cardoso “Victor Birigui”…), but also took some more experienced pieces like Yoandy Leal and Douglas Souza. Major stars like Ricardo Lucarelli, Bruno Rezende “Bruninho” and Lucas Saatkamp “Lucão” stayed in Brazil to prepare for the upcoming FIVB World Cup.
As for the match, after taking the first two sets, Argentina were ahead in the third set as well, even by 6 points (14-8). But, in the very finish of the set, Argentina head coach Marcelo Méndez got a red card and gave a point to the Brazilian team. However, Argentina had four match points before Brazil took charge, mostly thanks to Leal, and reduced the result to a 2-1 in sets. The fight continued in the fourth and fifth set but the reigning champions found their way to a victory.
Brazil will now be heading to Japan to play the World Cup – their last duty in the season. The competition will take place from September 30 to October 15.
The hosts Chile won the bronze medal after beating Venezuela in straight sets.
2019 South American Men’s Volleyball Championship:
Bronze medal match
Chile – Venezuela 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-13)
Brazil – Argentina 3-2 (24-26, 22-25, 31-29, 25-20, 15-13)
Best Setter: Matías Sánchez, Argentina
1st Best Outside Hitter: Dusan Bonacic, Chile
2nd Best Outside Hitter: Yoandy Leal, Brazil
1st Best Middle Blocker: Gabriel Araya, Chile
2nd Best Middle Blocker: Flávio Gualberto, Brazil
Best Opposite: Bruno Lima, Argentina
Best Libero: Santiago Danani, Argentina
MVP: Alan Souza, Brazil
1st – Brazil
2nd – Argentina
3rd – Chile
4th – Venezuela
5th – Peru
6th – Colombia
7th – Ecuador
8th – Bolivia