Team China beat Brazil
Claim first victory at Volleyball Nations League
Published: Jun 13, 2022 08:10 PM
Chinese players block the ball during the match against Brazil in Brasilia, Brazil on June 12, 2022. Photo: VCG

Chinese players block the ball during the match against Brazil in Brasilia, Brazil on June 12, 2022. Photo: VCG

China secured their first victory of the men's 2022 FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) on Sunday by overcoming hosts and defending champions Brazil 25-23, 31-29, 25-23.

Outside hitter Zhang Jingyin led the scoring with 25 points, including 22 kills, two aces and one block, while Zhang Guanhua contributed nine points and Li Yongzhen seven points.

"This is a big victory for our team, it's very encouraging," outside hitter Yuan Dangyi said. "We entered the match determined to do our best but we knew Brazil were the No.1 team in the world and very strong opponents.

He added, "I think today we played better and that's why we won. Each of us was focused on our own roles and that was very important. We'd love to play Brazil again because they're so strong."

Brazil's top scorer was Alan Souza with 19 points, followed by Flavio Resende (13 points) and Lucas Staatkamp (12 points).

The result at the Nilson Nelson Arena in Brazil's capital marked China's first win in the competition since 2019 and saw Poland displace Brazil at the top of the world rankings.

China's opponents in the next cluster of matches - from June 22 to 26 - will be France, Germany, Argentina and Italy while Brazil will face Poland, Serbia, Iran and Bulgaria.

In Sunday's other fixtures, Poland beat France 3-1, Japan routed Iran 3-0, Italy overcame Argentina 3-1, the Netherlands thrashed Australia 3-0 and Canada defeated Bulgaria 3-2.

The games form part of the VNL preliminary round. The top seven teams will contest the finals in Bologna, Italy, from July 20 to 24.  

China suffered its third consecutive defeat at the VNL on Saturday after losing to Slovenia 1-3 (15-25, 20-25, 25-18, 25-27).

Mozic Rok led Slovenia in scoring with 13 kills and three blocks. Gasparini Mitja had 12 kills and one block.

China's top scorer was Zhang Jingyin who had 20 points.

Earlier in the week, China had lost to Iran and Japan, both in four sets, in VNL's Pool 1 action in the Brazilian capital. 

Yuji Nishida scored a game-high 26 points as Japan rallied from one set down to beat China 3-1 (21-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-18) at the 2022 FIVB men's Volleyball Nations League on Thursday.

The opposite spiker won 22 attacking points and three points on serve in addition to one block at the Nilson Nelson arena in the Brazilian capital Brasilia.

China's top scorer was Zhang Jingyin, who finished with 15 points.

Morteza Sharifi scored a game-high 20 points as Iran defeated China 3-1 in their opening fixture on June 7. The outside spiker won 14 attacking points and four points on serve in addition to two blocks at the Nilson Nelson arena in Brazilian capital Brasilia. Captain Milad Ebadipour contributed 15 points and Amir Hossein Toukhteh 12 points for the Asian champions.

China were depleted by the absence of captain Jiang Chuan due to injury.