Argentina sailed through to the volleyball quarterfinals at the London Olympic Games with an easy three-set win (25-18, 25-18, 25-15) on Monday over Great Britain.
The Argentine squad now also has the advantage of Bulgaria's victory over Italy while placing third in Group A with nine points, a result that lets it avoid playing the leader of the other group, Russia, in the quarterfinals.
Even so, the Argentines will have to face either the United States or Brazil, the top two favorites for the gold.
Advancing to the quarterfinals was the prize for winning the easiest match Argentina played in the entire first round, since Britain could only take part in the competition by virtue of its status as host nation.
The advantage of playing before a home crowd did not help the British side enough to compensate for the stratospheric difference between the two teams in technical skill.
All Argentina had to do was put a little pressure on its rival, speed up the game and place the ball deftly to open an 8-2 lead by the first time-out.
The script for the second set was a little different but had the same outcome - Argentina had no problems with its serves, though the British defense tightened somewhat this time around.
Britain even had hopes of closing gap when the score reached 13-14, but was subsequently sunk under a storm of Argentine spikes and blocks that racked up seven points for the South Americans.
Argentina wrapped up the game as it began, with tremendous power and without giving its rival a chance, completing its participation in the first round with a balance of three wins and two losses. EFE