BRASILIA, June 12 (Xinhua) — China took their first win in the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) for men on Sunday, beating host and defending champion Brazil 25-23, 31-29, 25-23.
Outside hitter Zhang Jingyin led the score 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 win for our team, it’s very encouraging,” said outside hitter Yuan Dangyi. “We started the game determined to give our best, but we knew that Brazil was the number 1 team in the world and very strong opponents.”
He added: “I think we played better today and that’s why we won. Each of us was focused on our own role and that was very important. We would love to play against Brazil again because they are 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 supplant Brazil to the top of the world rankings.
China’s opponents in the next round of matches — June 22-26 — are France, Germany, Argentina and Italy, while Brazil will face Poland, Serbia, Iran and Bulgaria.
In Sunday’s other games, Poland defeated France 3-1, Japan defeated Iran 3-0, Italy defeated Argentina 3-1, the Netherlands defeated Australia 3-0 and Canada defeated Bulgaria 3-2.
The matches are part of the VNL preliminary round. The top seven teams will compete in the final in Bologna, Italy from July 20 to 24.