Hosts Poland have pulled off a historic victory at the 2014 Volleyball World Championship by recording a first Championship victory over Brazil in more than 40 years.
Cheered on by a passionate home crowd, the hosts recorded an incredible five-set victory over favourites Brazil, however, as they sent their supporters wild inside Łódź's Atlas Arena.
Led by star player Mariusz Wlazly, who scored a match-high 31 points, the home side took the first set 25-22 as they looked to stamp their authority on the fixture.
Brazil hit back in the second and third sets, however, moving into a 2-1 lead after impressive 25-22 and 25-14 displays.
Not a team to give up, especially in sight of their thousands of enthusiastic fans, Poland dug deep in the fourth as they levelled the tie at 2-2 through a 25-18 scoreline.
The decider saw Poland storm into a 7-2 lead as Brazil began to flag from their earlier efforts.
The double Olympic champions were not about to roll over, though, as they conjured up a comeback to sit just a point away from victory.
At 15-14 down, Poland turned it around again, scoring three points on the bounce to send the home crowd into raptures and sit top of Pool H.
In Pool G, France proved too good for Germany as they rolled to a 3-0 victory to take the maximum three points and sit comfortable atop the table.
Despite a close opening, France took a grip on the game midway through the first set, pulling into a 10-5 lead to put clear water between themselves and their opponents.
Germany hit back soon after with brilliant spikes by Denys Kaliberda and Tim Broshogcloignt to close the gap to just two points at 14-12.
France reaffirmed their dominance from here, however, conceding just three additional points in the set as they stormed to a 25-15 victory.
The final two sets were a much closer contest with France edging both 26-24 and 25-22 to assure their victory.
Germany will have the chance to bounce back from their loss tomorrow as they meet Iran in the second of three Round III fixtures.
In Pool H, Brazil will also have the opportunity to make amends as they face off with Russia.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
September 2014: Hosts Poland seal hard-fought victory over France to secure berth in Round III of Volleyball World Championships
September 2014: Brazil, Russia and France book spots in third round of Volleyball World Championships
September 2014: Hosts Poland back on track with win over Italy at Volleyball World Championships
September 2014: Brazil open Round II with 99th win at Volleyball World Championships
September 2014: Defending champions Brazil enter Volleyball World Championship Round II on full points