Tokyo, Japan, November 30, 2007: Brazil swept Argentina 3-0 in the South American "derby" in the first match of the day at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Friday.
The World Cup holders continued their dominance over their regional rivals with a business-like 25-20, 25-22, 25-16 victory to improve their win-loss record to 8-1.
After losing their first match of the tournament 3-0 to the United States, the reigning Olympic and world champions have won eight straight without dropping a set.
Argentina, who qualified for the World Cup as South American vice champions behind Brazil, dropped to 5-4 with two matches to play.
Argentina started the match without their 35-year-old captain Marcos Milinkovic, whose place was handed to his young pretender, Lucas Chavez. Milinkovic would not appear until late in the second set.
All the early action was at the centre of the net, as Argentina's pair of middle blockers, Stepanenko and Aschemacher, traded blows with Rodrigao.
Brazil led 8-7 at the first TTO as Argentina struggled on serve, and coach Uriarte called a TO when superb Brazilian blocking left his team trailing 13-10.
Play resumed for Quiroga to hit cleanly on the left, and Chavez to soar and spike hard on the right. When another blow from Quiroga was blocked but dropped wide, the Argentines were level 14-14.
At 15-15, a swooping back court attack from Brazil captain Giba took his team into the second TTO with a one-point lead. On the resumption, a lack of coordination on the Argentine side allowed Gustavo to smash a mighty winner, but once again Stepanenko replied for 18-18. When Stepanenko blocked Rodrigao, Argentina hit the front heading into the 20s.
Rodrigao would get his revenge, though, rejecting a Quiroga cracker on the left for 22-20 Brazil and sending Argentina into their second TO. When Quiroga was blocked again, he was replaced by Scholtis at 23-20.
Brazil wrapped up the first set 25-20 thanks to five block points and nine Argentine errors.
In the second set, Guillermo Garcia won a string of early points on the Argentine left and Stepanenko blocked the mighty Giba to give his team a lift.
As the set progressed, southpaw Andre continued to produce points on the Brazilian right with his smooth spiking. On the opposite flank, Dante blocked Chavez for 15-10 and Argentina needed a TO as Brazil started to turn it on and pull away.
Even when the Argentine defence returned another Andre attack, the ball quickly came back from Dante after a Gustavo decoy leap at the net. The Brazilians were too quick and too slick for the young Argentine team, but coach Bernardinho took his team off with the lead down to 18-16 following an attack error from Anderson.
A malaise had set in and Argentina were able to pull level. Rodrigao came up with some big points at critical moments, as did Dante on attack and block, and Brazil closed it out 25-22.
In the third set, Gustavo and Rodrigao battered some unstoppable winners at the net, and setter Marcelinho served an ace for 7-4. When the teams came off at 8-4, Giba munched a banana for extra energy as his team homed in on a straight-sets victory.
When Chavez was blocked on the right for 10-4, the Argentines trudged off for a TO and looked ready to accept their fate. Stepanenko tried to pump them up on their return, but Brazil smelled blood and Garcia's flying back court attack was rejected in clinical fashion for another Brazilian block point.
Garcia blocked Andre to halt the Brazilian march, but the South American masters still led by seven, 16-9, at the second TTO when Gustavo spiked easily down the middle.
Rodrigao hurried Brazil towards their target, despite some desperate ground defence from Argentina. Even Milinkovic fired wide as Brazil wrapped it up 25-16.