Brazil downs Japan in five sets but is eliminated from tournament


Nagoya, Japan, October 11, 2018 - Tandara Caixeta scored a match-high 24 points as Brazil beat Japan 3-2 (23-25, 16-25, 28-26, 25-21, 15-11) in the second round at the FIVB Women's World Championship on Thursday night.

Fernanda Rodrigues had 20 points and Gabriela Guimaraes contributed 17 in the victory for Brazil.

Sarina Koga had 23 points for Japan in the loss.

Brazil was eliminated from advancing despite the victory, while Japan moved into the final six of the tournament.

Japan staged an epic rally in the first set to clinch advancement, scoring eight of the final nine points to take it 25-23.

Japan relied on their speed and good reception early in the contest, but the power and blocking of their opponents proved decisive in the final three sets.

The hosts appeared headed for a three-set victory when Brazil turned the tables after staving off match points in the third set.

Brazil showed their grit by hanging in and forcing it to five sets. They attacked and defended well in the last three sets.

Japan entered the match with a 7-1 record, while Brazil was 6-2.

Ai Kurogo lofted a tip over the high block and Japan lead 6-5 early in the first set. A big spike by Fernanda Rodrigues pushed Brazil ahead 10-8. Kurogo misplayed a reception and Japan fell behind 15-12. Kanami Tashiro fired a serve long and Brazil led 16-13 at the second TTO. Tandara rose high for a tap that landed in an open space in the defense and Japan trailed 18-15. Brazil kept feeding the ball to Fernanda for smash after smash. Trailing 20-16, Japan called a timeout. Tandara flew in from the back for a spike and Brazil was up 22-17 and appeared in control of the set. Araki delivered an ace and Japan was within one at 22-21. Then she served another and the score was even at 22-22. Japan went up 23-22 on a foot fault. Ishii gave Japan set point with a spike at 24-23. A block by Shinnanbe gave Japan the set 25-23 and clinched their spot in the final six of the tournament.

Japan moved out to a 7-3 lead in the second set behind a strong attack and was up 8-4 at the first TTO. A spike by Fernanda pulled Brazil within three at 10-7. Brazil botched a reception and Japan was up 15-10. Fernanda sent a spike into the net and Japan's lead grew to 18-10. A Miyu Nagaoka spike gave Japan set point at 24-15 and they took the 25-16 set on a foot fault. 

Brazil took a 7-2 lead in the third set behind strong blocking and attacking. Japan came back to knot the score 8-8 and went up 9-8 on a spike by Nana Iwasaka. Japan led 14-13 after a big spike by Ishii. It was 16-15 for Japan at the second TTO. Japan kept the pressure on in attack after taking the lead and had a 19-16 advantage when Brazil called a timeout. Japan led 21-18 after a spike by Natalia Pereira. A Nagaoka spike made it 22-19 and Japan drove for the finish line. Ishii's spike put Japan on top 23-20. Nagaoka's flying spike gave Japan match point at 24-21. Brazil fought off three match points to level at 24-24 on a spike by Fernanda, then took the lead 25-24 when Tandara's spike was blocked out. After a Brazil serve went out, Koga had a spike blocked out and again Japan had match point at 26-25. Fernanda tied it at 26-26 with a huge spike. Nagaoka's spike was blocked by Gabriela Guimaraes and Brazil took the set 27-25 when Ishiii misplayed a reception.

Ishii ended a long rally with a spike to give Japan a 4-3 lead in the fourth set. Brazil was in front 8-6 at the first TTO on a spike by Guimaraes. A Nagaoka tip over the high block made it 10-10 and Japan moved 11-10 ahead on a back attack from Koga. Koga struck again on a spike to give Japan a 16-12 edge at the second TTO. Brazil responded with five straight points and retook the lead 17-16 on a Tandara spike. Tandara fired two aces and Brazil had their eighth and ninth straight points to make it 21-16. They claimed the set 25-21 on a spike by Guimaraes.

Japan was up 5-3 in the final set after Nagaoka's spike was blocked out. Fernanda kept blasting away from the wing and it was 7-6 for Japan. Tandara gave Brazil the lead at 8-7 at the changeover with a spike. Brazil built the lead to 13-9 and got to match point on a tap by Guimaraes at 14-9. They closed it out 15-11 when a Tandara spike was blocked out.


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