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Brazil book spot in World League semifinal

Brazil celebrate victory over Russia
 Florence, Italy, July 17, 2014 – Brazil beat Russia 3-1 (26-24, 22-25, 25-23,25-22) to claim a spot in the semi final of the FIVB World League.

•    Brazil are through after getting three points from this game. 

•    Russia have two points after beating Iran 3-2 yesterday; tomorrow’s match between Brazil and Iran will therefore decide whether Russia or Iran go through. 

•     Brazil broke a four game losing streak against Russia with this win.

•    Brazil have reached the final in four of the last five FIVB World League Finals.

•    Brazil are now on a four match winning streak.

•    Russia will still hope to be the first European side to win back to back World League titles since Italy in 1999 and 2000.

In a tight first set, Brazil got into a narrow 8-5 lead. Lucas Saatkamp of Brazil and Dmitriy Muserskiy of Russia made some great spikes. Brazil maintained a narrow lead up to 17-15 thanks to hits from Murilo Endres and Wallace De Souza. Russia bridged the gap and got in the lead at 23-22, thanks in particular to excellent attacks by Nikolay Pavlov and Sergey Savin, but Brazil eventually prevailed 26-24.

in the second set, Denis Birukov was dominant for Russia as the score remained tight. They got 8-7 ahead and with spikes from Muserskiy and Aleksey Spiridonov maintained their lead at 18-14. Brazil fought hard with Wallace scoring 7 points, but they could not prevent Russia from closing the set 25-22. 

Score in the third set remained tight, but Brazil managed to get ahead at 10-7. With some help from Brazilian errors Pavlov led the Russian comeback, getting his side ahead 19-15. With Sidnei Dos Santos Junior playing well, Brazil bridged the gap and eventually cinched the set at 25-23. 

The teams proved how evenly matched they were as the score ran up to 10-10, Spiridinov scoring well for Russia and Dos Santos Junior striking back for Brazil. Brazil got ahead 20-16 with Wallace, Murilo and Lucas spiking and blocking Russian attacks. Spiking hard in the closing phases of the match, Lucas led his team to a 3-1 victory at 25-22.

Wallace was top scorer for Brazil with 23 points while Pavlov scored 18 points for Russia. 

Brazil face Iran at 17.30 on Friday. 

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