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Brazil concedes a set in second win over Japan

June 12, 2005 Four time World League champions Brazil snatched a hard fought 3-1 (25-17, 25-19, 27-29, 25-18) victory over Japan in Gifu City to improve their record to five wins and a loss while Japan have still to record a victory in this year's competition.

The Olympic champions, who have now gone top of Pool A but could be joined by Portugal who play Venezuela on Sunday, failed to make their mark in the one-sided victory as they still develop combinations but they showed glimpses of their class, with a smooth combination on attack and effective blocking performance. Setter and captain Ricardo Garcia managed to make the whole team into a complete attacking machine.
Pic: Japan are still building a young and exciting side
Japan's traditional strength - quick combined offence - was ineffective only to find Brazil's blocking very difficult to beat. Their 23-year-old outside spiker, Rio Matsunaga, was sent onto the court only part way through the middle of the second set, recording 16 points in attack and finishing as Japan's best scorer.

"We have improved our performance as a whole and played better than yesterday," Garcia said. "I am convinced that we are going in the right direction. But in the last stage of the third set we have lost our concentration to open the door to Japan."

"We made too many mistakes and showed some inconsistency in the third set," Brazil coach Bernardo Rezende said. "We should have won in thee sets rather than four, nevertheless we recorded quite a few points in our blocking which is very satisfactory. "

"We are not mature enough to match up with a world class team like Brazil who have various strong offensive weapons," Japan coach Tatsuya Ueta said.
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