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 Match info | Description
Brazil continues triumphant march but faces tough opposition in Japan's quick play

Brazilian Carla spiking through the Japanese double block
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, July 8, 2009. Today’s second match in the main hall featured the likes of Brazil, undoubtedly a team that is vying for gold here at the World Championship, and Japan, a real favorite of the Thai audience here at the Mall Convention Center. The game was perceived as extremely interesting for any volleyball fan, as the tall Brazilians were likely to test out the amazingly quick game of the “tiny” Japanese that already caused so many troubles yesterday to European silver medalist Serbia. Brazil continues a triumphant march in this World Championship although the South Americans lost their first set in this competition to a well motivated Japan (27-25, 19-25, 28-26, 25-15).
After having struggled in the opening rallies, Japan found the right pace – especially through Mari Horikawa – to storm back and even level the score right before the second technical break. Both teams put up a great show and mighty battle, exchanging the lead continuously but Japan eventually failed to silver a set ball and that is a kind of chance you can not miss against such a solid and motivated team as the Brazilians, who – with Samara and Sthefanie on fire – promptly closed the first set at 27-25.
Japan got off to a marvelous start in the second set (5-1) forcing Brazilian coach de Moura to ask for a time-out and even to replace regular setter and captain Rosane with her back-up; the Brazilian block started stopping the quick balls of the Japanese attackers and even in the serving area the South Americans gained some real consistency to close up the score. However, the girls of coach Ogawa displayed a stellar performance in the mid of the set with their fast attacks and with libero Mori literally flying all over the court to clinch a mini-break that was ultimately going to last up to the end with a great effort of left-handed Horikawa, the real leader of the Asian team.
That was the very first set Brazil lost in this competition and the “Cariocas” were forced to cope with a fierce resistance also in the following section of the game. The South Americans do play in a very mature way for such a tender age and combine that with excellent physical skills, but the agility and speed of the Japanese is quite a good weapon too, so the score stayed as close as possible for most of the third set too. The “money time” was absolutely exciting, with both teams striving at their best and Brazil eventually moving the set count to 2-1 after a dazzling battle that ended at 28-26.
Having missed that chance and coming out from a very demanding set, Japan slowed significantly down the rhythm in the fourth set and Brazil sailed rapidly away in the score (16-7). Japan’s reception lacked of consistency and the girls were definitely paying tribute to the great efforts they had displayed in the previous sections of the game. Team leader Horikawa tried her best to stay tuned but that was not enough, with the South Americans ultimately celebrating another victory and qualifying for the semifinals even before the very last match of the second round scheduled for tomorrow against Serbia.

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