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Brazil, USA advance to women's Volleyball Nations League final

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-06-25 15:42
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RIMINI, Italy -- Brazil overwhelmed Japan 3-1 (25-15, 25-23, 29-31, 25-16) on Thursday to reach the women's Volleyball Nations League final for the second straight year.

In Friday's final, the Brazilians will face the United States, who ousted Turkey 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-20) to advance.

Brazil shot off to a two-set lead, breaking away midway each of the first two sets with comfortable leads - though the second did eventually become tight.

The South Americans had reached set point with four to spare, but Japan rallied to close in at 24-23, before Tandara hit the ball off the hands of Haruyo Shimamura and away.

Brazil found themselves trailing by seven, at 5-12, in the third set and Natalia Pereira had come on to replace Fe Garay.

Brazil wasted two match points at 24 in the third - the second for a sideout on a misconnect error by Macris Carneiro. The South Americans had two more chances to end the match, at 25-24 and 27-26, before Mayu Ishikawa made the final kill to keep Japan alive.

Japan again jumped to a 5-0 lead and Fe Garay returned on court to replace Natalia as Brazil once more caught up and shot away. Brazil led by five at the second technical time-out and cruised on to close the match in four without further problems.

This time Brazil had as many as nine match points and Rosamaria Montibeller got it right on the first sideout effort, hitting crosscourt to close the match.

Brazil and the United States, who battled for gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics, both expressed strong wills to win the title.

"It's Brazil, so it's gonna be a good match. They are a very good volleyball team, but so are we. We are hoping to show up and do our best and they bring their strongest and it will be a good volleyball game," said Jordyn Poulter of the United States.

"We had an opportunity two years ago, we were leading 2-0 with the USA, but we didn't manage to win this game.

"For sure we want to win and take this gold medal home for all Brazilians," said Brazil's Gabi Guimaraes.

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