Tehran, Iran, August 27 - Brazil proved their favoritism for the Men's U21 World Championship in Iran after they crushed Russia 3-1 (25-22, 21-25, 25-16, 25-21) in a play off seeding match dubbed "the early final" on Wednesday. Brazil's big guns Samuel Fuchs and Leonardo Silva put on an exhilarating attacking display to penetrate the solid Russian block as Brazil wrapped up the match in 97 minutes.
Brazilian coach Antonio Lerbach said: "We started nervously, but when the players concentrated we achieved a valuable victory."
In the other play off seeding match Serbia and Montenegro slipped into title contention after delivering a 3-0 lesson to the surprise of the first round, South Korea in only one hour.
Brazil, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro and South Korea will be joined by Iran, Bulgaria, Poland and Germany in Friday's quarterfinals after the latter all won their play-off elimination matches against Slovakia, Egypt, India and Canada respectively, who for them the tournament is now over.
Hosts Iran played their best match of the competition to date against Slovakia, to clinch a straight sets win (25-16, 25-22, 25-23) in front of 11,000 spectators while Poland pulled off a 3-1 victory over India (25-22, 20-25, 25-21, 25-18).
In the other two play off elimination matches Bulgaria swept past Egypt in straight sets (25-18, 25-22, 25-18) with their talented spikers Matey Kaziyski and Danail Milushev the stars of the match, while Germany dismissed the solid Canadian team 3-1 (23-25, 25-21,25-21, 25-22) thanks to the usual high performance of Jochen Schops.
Friday's quarterfinals see Brazil take on Iran, Serbia Montenegro play Poland, Bulgaria up against Russia and Korea playing Germany. Thursday is a rest day.