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2017-06-29 09:51:00 CET

Perišić makes beach volleyball debut

Straight sets defeat for Croatian duo

Perišić and partner Dell’Orco celebrate a point against the Brazilians. Photocredit: Marjan RadovicPerišić and partner Dell’Orco celebrate a point against the Brazilians. Photocredit: Marjan Radovic

Inter Milan soccer player Ivan Perišić finally made his long-awaited international beach volleyball debut at the Poreč Major on Thursday morning.

However, Perišić and partner Niksa Dell’Orco’s first match in the event began with a defeat as they were beaten in straights 21-10, 21-10 against Brazilians Alvaro De Morais Filho and Saymon Barbosa Santos.

Perišić and Dell’Orco were far from outclassed against a team who won the Fort Lauderdale Major back in February. The Croatians won their first point to make it 4-1 with Perišić showing impressive defensive skills against a fierce spike from Alvaro Filho.

In the end, despite their best efforts – which saw Perišić pull off a magnificent block against Saymon in the second set – the Brazilians were too strong.

“It was a pleasure to play against him,” Alvaro said. “I’ve seen him score goals in soccer so this was different. We love soccer in Brazil so to share something with him was awesome for us.

“All kids want to be a soccer player but today he wanted to be a beach volleyball player.”

Despite the defeat, all is not lost for Perišić and Dell’Orco. The pair will return to the sand in the second of their three scheduled pool play matches at 9pm on Thursday.  The Croatians will face American pair Theo Brunner and 2016 Olympian Casey Patterson.

You can watch that match – and indeed all of the games today – live on BeachStream.

Perišić controls the ball on his debut. Photocredit: Marjan Radovic.Perišić controls the ball on his debut. Photocredit: Marjan Radovic.

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