The Dominican Republic earned their first win of the FIVB Volleyball World Championship for Women on Saturday with a straights sets victory over Central American rivals Mexico.
The Dominicans won 25-20, 25-19, 25-12 in Sapporo to break their run of three defeats in Pool B while the Mexicans suffered their fourth straight loss.
Despite the win, the Dominicans face an uphill task to reach the second round in Osaka with their final match against the awesome Russians.
Mexico meet Azerbaijan in their last match on Sunday and will be playing for pride.
The minnows match-up saw the Dominican Republic go in as the slight favourites after they took a set off Azerbaijan in their previous game.
Indeed, with captain Cosiri Rodriguez and 1.93m Annerys Vargas making the plays, Dominica moved into an 8-5 first-set lead.
However, Mexico's inspirational captain Bibiana Candelas lifted her teammates by example as Mexico fought back to 9-8.
But it was Candelas who gave away the set when her attempted spike into open space flashed wide.
Dominican Republic eased to an 8-4 lead in the second set, taking advantage of Mexico's mistakes at the service line and net.
Candelas, Migdalel Ruiz and Claudia Rodriguez tried to get Mexico back in the match but they were consistenly thwarted by the likes of Vargas, Nuris Arias and Cosiri Rodriguez.
Arias' spike took the Dominican Republic to 16-11 and she remained a potent weapon for her team on the left side of the court.
Milagros Cabral, largely missing in action so far, turned up on the right to fire in the spike that won Dominican Republic the second set.
Mexico set about trying to turn things around in the third set, flying to a 4-1 lead.
But their dominance was brief as Dominican Republic regained the advantage and went into an 8-6 time-out lead.
Cabral won the next three points for Dominica with two power spikes and a block while Vargas joined in the action as her team pulled away rapidly.
Dominica's 12-point run on Arias' serve, which took them to 16-7, proved decisive.
Yudelkys Bautista fired in a service winner to seal the match for the Dominicans.