• Kyodo

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Japan fell to its second straight defeat of the men’s volleyball World Cup in the evening finale at Site A on Friday with a 3-1 loss to Serbia and Montenegro on Friday.

Japan took the first set 25-21 at Hiroshima Green Arena behind a series of accurate tossing by setter Daisuke Usami, but allowed the Sydney Olympic champion to come from behind and take the next three sets 25-18, 25-22, 25-20. Japan is now 3-2 in the 12-nation standings while Serbia and Montenegro and Brazil, which eased past winless Tunisia in straight sets even without its top players, are undefeated at 5-0.

In the day’s other matches, European champion Italy beat France 3-0 to remain one win away from the leaders with a 4-1 record, while Canada edged China 3-2 for its second straight victory and South Korea beat Venezuela 3-1 to clinch its third win against two losses.

The United States is also at 4-1 following a 3-1 triumph over Egypt and kept alive its chances of winning a ticket to the Athens Olympics given to the top three teams of the tournament.

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