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FIVB World Grand Prix 2006
Match Description
Canaries sweep Japan in straight sets

Sheilla Castro soars high for Brazil

Tokyo, August 20, 2006: Defending World Grand Prix champions Brazil beat Japan 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-20) in the last match of Pool A at Ariake Coliseum on Sunday evening.
 Brazil, five-time Grand Prix champions and looking for a third consecutive title at the Final Round in Italy next month, finished the Tokyo leg with a perfect 3-0 win-loss record. Japan (2-1) were second, ahead of Cuba (1-2) and Korea (0-3).
 Brazil opened up an early three-point lead at 7-4, thanks to some fine play on the left by Mari Steinbrecher and at the net from Fabiana Claudino. But Japan pulled level at 7-7 before Welissa "Sassa" Gonzaga brought up the first TTO with Brazil in front by the most slender of margins.
 One worrying aspect for Japan was an excellent block by captain Fofao on Miyuki Takahashi, who was clearly going to be well marked.
 Every Japan point was greeted by an ear-splitting shriek from the packed arena, and the home side forced a Brazil TO when moving in front 13-11. Japan reached the second TTO ahead by three, but head coach Shoichi Yanagimoto called his first TO when Brazil reduced the deficit to one point, 17-16.
 A ferocious winner from Saori Kimura could not prevent Brazil from gaining the initiative down the stretch, and Renata Colombo brought up two set points at 24-22 with a powerful winner on the right. Brazil took it immediately 25-22 with a Fabiana block on Erika Araki, denying Japan's new ace her sixth point of the first set.
 Brazil recovered from a slow start in the second to surge ahead 8-5 at the first TTO, and Japan coach Yanagimoto did not like what he saw on the resumption, taking the players off after losing the very next point.
 Sassa was proving a real handful for the Japanese defence, and the home team tried to advance through the tactic of Sachiko Sugiyama or Araki gliding behind setter Yoshie Takeshita to flash a winner across court. Takeshita and Takahashi scored quick points for Japan to get the home fans roaring, but Brazil still led by three at the second TTO.
 A Sheilla Castro block on power spiker Kana Oyama moved Brazil ahead by four at 19-15 and forced another Japan TO, but Sassa stepped on the gas to clinch the second set 25-16.
 China-born Shuka Oyama, who had come on towards the end of the second set, started the third for Japan and soon scored her first point of the match to inject fresh life into the Japan team. With Takahashi also productive, Japan led 8-7 at the first TTO when a spike from Shuka Oyama was touched by a Brazilian player.
 Sassa, Castro and Fabiana put Brazil back on track at 10-8, forcing a Japan TO, but Brazil built on their lead behind the venomous serving of Sassa.
 Trailing 18-13, the match was slipping out of Japan's reach, despite some aggressive play from Shuka Oyama.
 Valeska Menezes came on late for Brazil and helped them take the third set 25-20.