Brazil gets first win in Final Six in Sapporo. “Canarinhas” smashed American team 3-0 without any difficulties.



BRAZIL – USA 3-0 (25-19 25-12 25-10)
Line-ups and scores:
Brazil: Dani Lins (4), Fe Garay (13), Thaisa (13), Monique (8), Gabriela (11), Fabiana (9), Fabi (L) and Sheilla (1), Michelle
USA: Glass (3), Hill (4), Harmotto (4), Murphy (3), Hildebrand (5), Gibbemeyer (3), Miyashiro (L) and Lichtmann, Fawcett (10), Paolini, Hood, Hagglund

The two teams – who met in last year’s Olympic Games final, which Brazil won – felt their way into the match slowly and they were level through 10-10 when the wheels came off for the Americans. Thaisa Menezes started the rot with a super block on Kelly Murphy and the run ended with an unsuccessful video challenge after a shot by Nicole Fawcett. Brazil had the set under control but they, too, went off the boil and coach Ze Roberto had to call a timeout at 21-14 after his players dropped four straight points. Fawcett was one of the few bright spots for USA and she narrowed the gap to 22-16 with a thunderous ace. But Brazil earned six setpoints after a strong shot by Claudino Fabiana and Fernanda Rodrigues ended the set.
USA challenged the first point of the second set – a long shot by Kimberly Hill – but were unsuccessful and the set started much as the first had with the teams even to 5-5. Successive wayward shots by Lauren Gibbemeyer saw Brazil three points ahead at the first technical timeout and USA coach Karch Kiraly called two timeouts as Brazil stretched their lead to 12-5. Fawcett stopped the rot with a shot, but a good block by Rodrigues followed by a kill from the same player gave Brazil a 16-9 lead at the second TTO. A successful Brazil video challenge put them up 18-10 and Rodrigues then came up with two terrific blocks to give Brazil a 10-point lead. Thaisa brought up setpoint with a crisp kill and a long shot by Fawcett put Brazil 2-0 ahead. 
Kiraly called a timeout as his team continued to struggle at 1-5 in the third set and the break seemed to have a positive effect, allowing the Americans to close to within a point at 6-5 after a run that included a terrific block by Fawcett on Gabriela Guimaraes. But Claudino came up with a couple of big hits to give Brazil some momentum again and they eased their way into a seven-point advantage at the second TTO. Two massive blocks by Guimaraes and a mixup on the American side of the net put Brazil 10 points ahead at 20-10. Brazil won their second challenge in a nine-point run that ended the match on successive blocks.
For me this result is a big surprise. I expected much more dramatic and thrilling battle. I didn’t like the way of refereeing, ladies from Spain and Korea didn’t know how to behave when teams called for using video challenge. FIVB should organise for all referees appropriate training.
Team Stats:
Actions Spike points Spike % Block Serve Dig Reception Sets note Unforced Errors
Brazil 42 50% 13 4 15 45% 5.33 21
USA 22 24% 7 3 20 37% 8 21
Team Leaders:
Actions/Players Points Spike points Spike % Spike errors Block Serve Unforced Errors
Fernanda Garay 13 9 41% 1 3 1 5
Nicole Fawcett 10 7 27% 7 2 1 7