The U.S. men's volleyball team found out once more how dangerous Brazil can be in the Games.
Brazil ended the United States' run for a third straight gold medal at the 1992 Olympics, and Saturday night Brazil stunned Team USA 15-11, 15-11, 15-7 in preliminary round play.
A win would have given the United States sole possession of second place in Pool A behind Cuba and hurt Brazil's chances to advance. Instead, the Americans have lost two straight matches and are tied with Argentina and Brazil at 2-2.
After losing captain Antonio "Carlao" Gouveia to a calf injury days before the Olympics, Brazil dropped its first two matches. It got an easy win over Poland on Thursday, and, backed by its wild, yellow-clad fans, came out sharp against the Americans.
The United States made numerous hitting errors and spent too much time sending serves into the net or out of bounds. Team USA scored consecutive points on the same serve only three times in the match.
The Americans fell behind 5-0 in the opening set, but tied it at nine and 10, only to give up four straight points. Team USA held off match point seven times before Alexandre Samuel and Max Pereira blocked a shot for the win.
In other Pool A action, Argentina defeated Cuba 15-10, 15-12, 15-9 and Bulgaria beat Poland 15-4, 15-10, 15-7.
Italy and the Netherlands, the world's top two men's volleyball teams, won their matches to solidify their hold on the top spots in Pool B heading into the quarterfinals.
Italy beat Russia 15-11, 15-6, 15-12 to improve to 4-0. Holland routed previously unbeaten Yugoslavia 15-7, 15-6, 15-9, leaving both teams at 3-1.
In a late Pool B match, South Korea (1-3) defeated Tunisia (0-4) 15-4, 15-6, 15-6.