The Brazilian men's volleyball team on Tuesday secured a 3-0 win over Russia, its first serious rival in its quest for a medal at the London Olympics.
Brazil played an excellent and very focused game taking good advantage of the serving power of its youngest players, which compromised the Russian defense and contributed important points to the final tally.
Russia, ranked No. 2 globally, had problems mounting its counterattacks and often returned the ball weakly, creating chances for Brazil to deliver point-blank spikes.
It was a day where everything went right for the Brazilians.
Russia's problems translated into a case of nervous tension, angry complaints and shouts through the net at the Brazilians after the decisive point scored by the South American side in the first set.
In the first set, the two sides remained balanced until the second technical timeout, when the score was 16-15, but then the Brazilians began to take off and were unstoppable thereafter.
Under pressure, the Russians began risking too much on the serves, always seeking the baseline and thus giving up precious points to the South Americans.
The imbalance between the two squads increased even more in the second set and a Russian surge in the third set was too little, too late.
Brazil's next trial by fire will be on Thursday against the United States, the Olympic champion in Beijing and a serious candidate to take home another gold this time around.