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Japan continued its winless streak in a 3-1 defeat to Italy in the men’s World Cup as the host fell to its seventh loss in a row on Saturday.

The Italians, who improved to 9-1, claimed a berth for the 2004 Athens Olympics along with undefeated Brazil, which dominated the United States 3-0 to win its 10th straight game of the tournament. Japan dropped the first two sets but won the third, but the European champion continued to unleash nerve-wracking spikes for an eventual 25-21, 27-25, 25-27, 25-20 victory at Yoyogi national gymnasium in Tokyo. Brazil’s comprehensive victory maintained its unbeaten record and with set ratio in its favor, only Japan, which stands at 3-7, lies between it and a first-ever World Cup title on Sunday.

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