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Brazil overcome China in three sets in Tokyo

Jaqueline Carvalho of Brazil attacks against China
Tokyo, Japan, August 21, 2014 – Brazil recovered from their first-day loss to Turkey to beat China 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-21) on the second day of  the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo on Thursday.

Key points:

Jaqueline Carvalho and Ferndando Rodrigues were the top scorers in the match with 15 points each. Liu Xiaotong led China with 13 points followed by captain Zeng Chunlei. 

Brazil had eight blocking points to China’s four and led 4-3 in serving.

The two sides had met on 33 previous occasions in the World Grand Prix with Brazil winning 23 of those meetings and China 10. 

Brazil have now won each of their last 11 encounters against China in the competition, dating back to a 3-2 defeat in China in June 2008.

The last time China recorded a World Grand Prix victory against Brazil in a match outside China was in July 2005 in Sendai, Japan.

Brazil started their Finals campaign with a 3-2 defeat against Turkey. It was their first defeat in the World Grand Prix this season and their first in the competition since August 10, 2013 (3-1 v Bulgaria).

Last season, Brazil won all of their five matches in the Finals. In 2012, they started with a defeat before reeling off four straight wins and finishing runners-up in the competition.

China started off their Finals campaign by defeating Belgium 3-1 on Wednesday.

Last season, China started the Finals with four successive victories before losing against Brazil.

China have now lost 100 matches in World Grand Prix history (272 matches). They are the fourth nation to reach 100 World Grand Prix defeats.

China captain Zeng Chunlei bookended the first phase of the first set with two great spikes as China moved three points ahead at the first technical timeout. But good strikes by Sheilla Castro and Fernanda Rodrigues helped Brazil pull level at 9-9 and after two shots by Sheilla gave Brazil a two-point lead at 12-10, China coach Lang Ping called a timeout. China dug in after that and played well, but they were always playing catch-up and couldn’t get closer than two points. China called a timeout at 23-19 and Brazil boss Ze Roberto did likewise when a reception error allowed China to pull back to 23-21. Brazil captain Fabiana Claudino smashed a shot down the right line to bring setpoint but big hits by Zeng and Liu Xiaotong had Ze Roberto hauling his players off court again with the score at 24-23. A great dig by Liu set up a scoring chance for China but they couldn’t convert and a well-placed shot by Jaqueline Carvalho put Brazil 1-0 up.

Zeng started the second set with a fine block on Thaisa Menezes and added a trademark thunderbolt as China fought hard to take an 8-6 lead at the first TTO. Brazilian errors allowed China to lead 11-8 before a great block by Fernanda on Zeng, a smash by the same player and a beautifully placed drop shot by Jaqueline levelled the scores at 11. There was nothing between the two teams as Jaqueline and Liu traded blows in the second phase of the set, but a half shot by Zeng allowed China to go two points ahead at the second TTO. Long shots by Liu and Yuan Xinyue soon brought the scores level at 16-16 and when Sheilla squeezed a shot home on the next point, China coach Lang Ping called a timeout. An ace by Jaqueline on the next play put Brazil two points ahead. The scores were tied at 18 after a mix-up between Jaqueline and Sheilla but good blocking by Brazil helped them pull away and clinch the set, Fabiana rounding things off with a strong kill. After two sets, China only had one blocking point to Brazil’s seven.

With the scores tied at 4-4 in the third set, Brazil turned on the power with kills from Thaisa, Sheilla and Fernanda and they led 8-5 at the first TTO. A big block by Fabiana on Zeng stretched that lead to four points before China hit back through hits by Zeng and Li Jing, and a block by Yang Junjing. But China were unable to draw level and were two points back at the second TTO. Brazil quickly doubled their lead with an ace by Thaisa and a kill by Fabiana and Lang Ping called a timeout. An error by China put Brazil 19-14 ahead and there was no way back for China. Matchpoint came on a hit by Fernanda and Jaqueline finished things off for Brazil.


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