Brazil heading for Milan after stunning fourth set comeback


Brazil inflicted Russia their third defeat of the World Championship

Verona, Italy, October 4, 2014 – Undefeated Brazil confirmed their qualification for the final round of the FIVB Women’s World Championship after a spectacular fourth set comeback to beat Russia 3-1 (27-17, 25-27, 25-19, 27-25) in both teams' penultimate second round match of the FIVB Women’s World Championship at PalaOlimpia on Saturday.

Key points:

•Brazil and Russia have met 12 times at the World Championship, the last two times at gold medal matches in 2006 and 2010, which Russia won in five sets. The European side have defeated Brazil in nine of those 12 meetings
•Brazil have won 17 of their last 18 World Championship matches with the exception of the gold medal final against Russia in 2010
•The only team that could take a table point against Brazil in this tournament are Turkey, who lost against them in five sets 
•After winning 17 World Championship matches in a row, Russia have now lost three of their last four matches, the previous being a 3-1 loss to USA on Sunday and 3-2 defeat to Turkey on Thursday
•Russia have now lost back-to-back matches for the first time since 1986, when Soviet Union dropped successive meetings against East Germany and China 

Brazil's Thaisa Menezes was the top scorer on court with 22 points, followed by Russia's Tatiana Kosheleva and Nataliya Goncharova with 21 and 20 points respectively.

An ace by Menezes opened the match, followed by two points on blocks scored by Goncharova and Yuliya Podskalnaya. Brazil reached the first technical time out with a four-points advantage. The South Americans blocked Tatiana Kosheleva’s attacks twice and kept dominating. Russia coach Yury Marichev changed Ekaterina Losianenko and Goncharova with Ekaterina Gamova and Evgeniya Startseva. The decision paid off as Russia narrowed the gap to 15-13. Supported by a loud crowd, Brazil increased their lead to seven at 20-13 and their second touch-point closed the first set 25-17.

The second set started in a similar fashion, with Brazil proving unstoppable they established a 5-1 lead. Menezes played an ace and brought Brazil to 10-2, while Russia seemed unable to find their rhythm, even with Gamova on the court. Russia slowly began a comeback and narrowed the gap to 12-9. Gamova’s ace, followed by two spikes from Goncharova tied the score l 13-all. Tandara Caixeta and Fernanda Rodrigues kept scoring consistently to leave Russia behind again at 20-17. The Europeans fought back, but were not able to stop Jaqueline Carvalho to score and make it 23-19. Three unforced errors allowed Russia to turn the score around win the first set point. Carvalho’s kills cancelled the first two set points, but Russia did not waste another as Goncharova spiked to seal the set 27-25.

Russia started the third aggressively and Irina Fetisova aced to make it 3-2. Brazil reacted quickly and overtook Russia with two block points by Carvalho and Sheilla Castro at 8-5. Russia tried to get close to their opponents with Anna Malova’s digs, but Goncharova and Kosheleva’s spikes could not pass Brazil's solid blocks and the South Americans kept the lead at 17-11. Menezes scored twice with a spike and block at 21-15, but Russia responded with Fetisova, Yana Shcherban and Goncharova to make it 23-18, when coach Jose Roberto Lages Guimaraes called a time out to interrupt Russia’s momentum. Brazil reacted and Fetisova spiked wide giving the set to Brazil, 25-19.

Russia showed stamina to lead 6-2 early in the fourth set. Brazil seemed to have lost their determination and Gamova’s spike and blocks allowed Russia to dominate, pushing ahead at 10-4. Kosheleva spiked and Startseva and Fetisova blocked Rodrigues twice before the Brazilian was switched for Natalia Pereira. Kosheleva aced to make it 18-11 and Russia kept their momentum through to 20-11. Rodrigues came back to the court to score and reduced the deficit to 20-14, and Menezes blocked Russia's attacks three times in a row. After an error by Goncharova, Brazil looked confident again. What followed was an outstanding comeback. The world No. 1 managed to overtake Russia at 22-21 with a spectacular defense point by setter, Danielle Lins. Kosheleva denied Brazil at their first match point but as the crowd roared, the South Americans had another chance and Menezes smashed an ace to the set 27-25 and bring to an end a superb match between two great sides. 

Brazil will meet USA, who have already qualified for the final round, at PalaOlimpia on Sunday, while Russia will take on Serbia.


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