Olympics volleyball: Brazil face Russia in men's final

Brazil men's volleyball team celebrate
Brazil men's volleyball team celebrate

Favourites Brazil beat Italy in their Olympic men's volleyball semi-final to book a gold-medal clash against Russia.

Brazil, ranked first in the world, eased into Sunday's final with a straight-sets win, 25-21 25-12 25-21, against the Italians at Earls Court.

World number two side Russia beat Bulgaria in four sets, 25-21 25-15 23-25 25-23, in Friday's other semi-final.

Italy, who beat defending champions the USA in the quarter-final, face Bulgaria in Sunday's bronze-medal match.

Murilo Endres top-scored as Brazil eliminated South American rivals Argentina in the last eight and he led the way again with 15 points against Italy.

It helped the beaten finalists from Beijing move a step closer to their third Olympic title.

Russia have the chance to win their first Olympic gold, after taking silver at Sydney 2000 and bronze at both Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.

Maxim Mikhaylov has been in devastating form for the Russians and the tournament's top scorer scored the winning point to send his nation into the final.