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2017-08-24 22:27:00 CET

Euro champs deny Germans glory

Italians do a job over wildcards to make quarterfinals

Italians Lupo/Nicolai wowed the crowd in the last match of the day on the Red Bull Beach ArenaItalians Lupo/Nicolai wowed the crowd in the last match of the day on the Red Bull Beach Arena

Italian Olympic silver medalists Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai secured a place in the quarterfinals – but were made to sweat against German wildcards Markus Böckermann and Lorenz Schümann.

Last week’s European Champions looked set to for a comfortable win after taking the first set 21-14, only for the home team to strike back and take it to a deciding set by winning the second 21-18.

And although the Italians showed their class by taking the third set 15-10, Markus was happy to have ‘annoyed’ their illustrious opponents.

“Our goal was to annoy them and we annoyed them a bit,” said Böckermann. “Of course we wanted to win both sets but we’re still happy with one.”

There’s still no news on the impending arrival in the Böckermann family and the blocker was keen to leave the mixed zone and get home to see his girlfriend. “Nothing’s happened yet!” he said.

For Nicolai, the Italian was relieved to have booked a direct place in the last eight of the quartersfinals.

“We played all last week in the Euros so one day’s rest is perfect,” said the Paolo. “All teams are great here but it’s not important who we play – but how we play.”

The Italians are joined straight in the last eight alongside fellow pool winners Lucena/Dalhausser, Kantor/Losiak and Evandro/Andre.

Click here to view the full elimination draw, including the first knockout stage in which the big draw sees Austrians Doppler/Horst take on Brazil’s Alvaro Filho/Saymon.

A wildcard will be guaranteed a place in the quarterfinal as Böckermann and Schümann face Americans Casey Patterson and Theo Brunner on the Red Bull Beach Arena on Friday.

The Germans almost caused an upset in the under the floodlightsThe Germans almost caused an upset in the under the floodlights

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