It wasn’t easy, but Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena beat Mexico’s Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen in two sets to keep their Olympic gold fuel tank full.
MORE: Full match replay
Dalhausser smashed a spike home to restore order to the second set and then blocked Mexico’s last chance, as he and partner Nick Lucena advanced to the knockout rounds with one match to play.
The win went 21-14, 21-17, but rarely looked that comfortable as Dalhausser was visibly in pain, exhausted, or a combination of both at the Copacabana Stadium in Rio.
Next up in group play is a Thursday date with Choaib Belhaj Salah and Mohamed Arafet Naceur of Tunisia.