Russia in must-win situation against USA


Turin, Italy, September 26, 2018 - After blowing a two-set lead and losing in dramatic fashion to Brazil on the opening day of the 2018 FIVB World Championship final round, Russia find themselves in a must-win situation when they face USA Thursday. The two sides meet for the second time in this World Championship, after a first-round American win in four sets.

Any win by USA means Russia go home early, while the Americans advance to Saturday's semifinals together with Brazil. Russia can actually secure the ticket themselves if they can win for full points, leaving Brazil and USA to battle it out on Friday for the second ticket.

• The United States and Russia will meet for the second time this World Championship. In the first round United States won 3-1.
• The United States have won only one of the other nine matches against Russia (including as Soviet Union) at the World Championship. That only match was the 1986 final (3-1) in Paris.
• At the Volleyball Nations League earlier this year, Russia won both encounters with the United States in straight sets.

United States
• The United States stretched their record run of wins from the beginning of a World Championship to eight matches in their straight-set win against Iran.
• The United States are the only team to have won all eight matches at the 2018 World Championship.
• The United States can now win nine matches at a World Championship for the first time. They also had eight victories in 1974.
• The United States can win three consecutive matches at the World Championship in straight sets for the first time since 1986 (Greece, Argentina and Poland).

• Russia lost 3-2 against Brazil on Wednesday, despite outscoring their opponents by 107 to 106 points.
• Russia had a 2-0 lead before losing the following three sets against Brazil. The last time they lost a World Championship match after being two sets up was against Spain in the second round of the 2010 edition.
• Russia have reached the World Championship third round for a third successive edition, but they failed to reach the semifinals in both 2010 and 2014.
• The last time Russia reached the semifinals of the World Championship was in 2002 (3-2 win over France), when they ultimately lost the final against Brazil.
• Maxim Mikhaylov has scored 18 points from aces at the 2018 World Championship, more than any other player.