Mauricio Souza and Wallace de Souza are joined in celebration by Ricardo Lucarelli and Bruno Rezende as Brazil advance to their first ever FIVB Men's Volleyball Nations League final with a striking win over France in the semifinals.

Brazil produced a solid and convincing performance to sweep France 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-19) in Saturday's first semifinal of the 2021 FIVB Men's Volleyball Nations League and advance to Sunday's final.

They are due to meet the winner of the second semifinal, between Slovenia and Poland.

It was sweet revenge for Brazil, who had lost to France in the round-robin phase of the VNL.

Brazil built up a healthy lead early on (in fact France fell and stayed behind after a brief lead at 2-1 in the first set).

An injury of Isac Santos, who had to be replaced by Lucas Saatkamp at 18-15, allowed France to briefly draw level at 19-19, before Lucas himself stepped up to serve and lead Brazil to a 5-0 run that brought Brazil to set point and beyond the reach of France.

It was anther 5-1 run for Brazil to close the second set, after again having led throughout. Yoandy Leal was causing all sorts of problems to the French reception and killing every ball that found it way to him and Mauricio Souza's blocking was letting nothing through.

France coach Laurent Tillie tried to change the flow of the game, starting with Antoine Brizard setting in place of Benjamin Toniutti and brining on Trevor Clevenot on as opposite instead of Kevin Tillie.


Yoandy Leal prepares to strike against the triple block of France as he leads Brazil to the final of the 2021 FIVB Men's Volleyball Nations League.

This balanced out the game - but just a bit. Brazil soon adapted to the change and carried on as usual to break away even before the second technical timeout before back-to-back points by Wallace with an ace on Clevenot and a great kill from the back row brought the match home.

Leal with 20 points - 67% (18/27) in attack plus two aces - led the scoring for Brazil, with Wallace adding another 13 and Mauricio contributing five of his team's nine blocks.

On the other side, Earvin Ngapeth provided a decent reception to his setters and some fair digging, but failed in attack, finishing the match on a mere 25% (4/16) efficiency, with Jean Patry producing his team's high scoring of 12 points.

Other than the forced substitution of Isac early on, Brazil coach Carlos Schwanke kept his lineup unchanged throughout the game - not bringing on a single reserve at any point in the game.

Regardless of the colour, it will be Brazil's first ever VNL medal after twice making the Final Four, but losing both times in the semifinals and the bronze medal matches at the 2018 and 2019 editions.

France will meet the loser of the other semifinal for bronze on Sunday, prior to the grand final.