A packed arena watched a thrilling five-set contest between Brazil and Japan
Brazil coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes:
"It was a very difficult match. Japan played a very good match, they really raised the level of their game. They attacked our second line of defence at the back. (Yukiko) Ebata and (Saori) Kimura overwhelmed us. Japan prepared for us very well. Our blocks and defending didn't always go well. Our concentration wasn't always right throughout such a long match, but in the fifth set, we were able to play our Volleyball. Our players came up with three very important blocks in the tie-breaker.
(On his side's strategy) "In order to prevent Japan from blocking the same player, we tried to open up more space for attackers.
(On his advice to the setter) "I told the setter to effectively use the central attacker, to create more space on the wings to use Sheilla more.
(On Sassa) "As always, even though she doesn't start, she was well-prepared. She's a very clever team player. In the difficult moments she played with calm and composure, she was very productive and made key blocks and spikes. She played very well on the important points. So that's why I used her instead of Jaqueline."
Brazil player Jaqueline:
"It was an incredible, amazing match. Japan are an incredible team, very fast. Even though there are only six of us on the court, all 14 players are together as one. Even when other players weren't doing so great, other players stepped up to help us. The first and second sets were really tough. This is a great win for Brazil. It was such a very difficult match against Japan. Our performance was the difference. We are a team that play on passion. We believe that we can beat other teams because of this."
Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe:
"Our serves were very good in the first two sets, and we started the first half of the match very well. When they put in Sassa, we couldn't break their serve, and that was a major reason for why we lost. Our players really believed that we could win tonight, so we are very disappointed. Tomorrow (against USA), I believe that we can win.
(On putting Mizuho Ishida on at key points) "Ishida hurt her ankle before the tournament. Her serves, spiking and receiving were good in earlier matches against Brazil this year. The last points of the set are really important to win and I was thinking about this when I put Ishida into the game tonight.
(On Japan's receiving and tenacious hustle plays) "I thought our players had incredible concentration tonight, and our defence was especially good.
(On preparing for Brazil) "For two days, I looked at the data about Brazil, and saw that their percentage of getting side-outs was over 80 per cent. If Brazil's receiving was good, our team don't have tall blockers so it was going to be tough to block their attacks. I asked our players to use the whole court for serving. In the first and second sets, I thought our strategy worked."
(On why Saori Sakoda did not play) "Ishida usually has a really good serve, so I switched to her."
Japan player Yukiko Ebata:
"I thought we did very well in the first two sets. Brazil came out very strong, and they really showed why they are the No.1 team in the world. We really tried to block them out and get hands to the ball. In the third and fourth sets, Brazil changed players and they adjusted to my attacks. We couldn't adjust to their changes, and I think our morale was affected. I'm an attacker, and I wish I could have got more points during key moments of the match. We still have a chance for a medal tomorrow, and I believe that definitely we can win tomorrow.
(On Ebata getting 29 points) "The most important thing is not the points but to score points in crucial moments. When I reflect on the match, I realise I should have got more points in the fifth set."
Japan player Saori Kimura:
"From the start, we really believed we weren't going to lose. We played very well at first. This is the best match we have played until now, I think. It is excruciating to lose in the end. We really tried to win it. We couldn't get points at crucial moments. That was the biggest reason why we lost. It was a big blow that we couldn't win the set at the end, after we were leading. Our service errors were very big. Even though we are very disappointed after this loss today, we still have a chance to win a medal tomorrow, and we have to play our best as a team.
(On the fourth set, when she was blocked twice) "I thought I must get a point for our team, but I couldn't see that Brazil had sent three blockers up. So I got blocked, and it was very painful."