Russia secured progress to the final round of the International Volleyball Federation Men’s Nations League thanks to a thrilling win over Argentina in Brisbane.
The Russians were twice pegged back by their South American opponents at Queensland State Netball Centre but prevailed in five sets, winning 25-19, 22-25, 25-18, 21-25, 15-11.
Elsewhere in Pool 17, Australia made the most of home advantage as they got the better of basement side China 24-26, 25-15, 25-22, 25-18.
In Pool 19, United States – who have already qualified automatically for the final round as hosts – overcame mid-table Serbia 14-25, 25-20, 29-27, 26-24 at Kolodruma in Bulgarian city Plovdiv.
High-flying Iran beat Bulgaria in three tight sets, emerging 25-23, 25-23, 25-21 winners.
Poland bagged a 25-19, 21-25, 25-14, 25-23 victory over hosts Germany in Pool 20 at Arena Leipzig, sealing their qualification for the next stage.
Japan sunk lowly Portugal 25-20, 25-22, 22-25, 25-20.
In Pool 18, new leaders Brazil ended Canada’s hopes of making the final round when they banked a 25-20, 25-19, 25-19 victory at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brasilia.
France won the first two sets against Italy, before dropping the third.
But they held their nerve in the fourth to win 27-25, 25-19, 21-25, 25-20 and go forward to the final round at Credit Union 1 Arena in Chicago in the United States next month.