Poland won a key clash against the US in Tokyo ©Getty Images

Poland have taken charge at the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) Men's World Cup after winning the battle of the undefeated sides against the United States in Tokyo today.

Both the Poles, the world champions, and the US had previously won eight games out of eight in the 12 team round robin at the tournament, which serves as a qualifier for next year's Rio 2016 Olympics.

Something had to give at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in the Japanese capital and it was the Poles who came through, recovering from losing the first set to triumph 17-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-15.

Michal Kubiak performed strongly for the victors, scoring 17 points as the Polish attack clicked into gear.

It means Poland top the group on their own with nine victories out of nine and just two games to play.

With only the top two booking their place in Rio alongside hosts Brazil, the now second placed Americans are looking over their shoulders as Italy, in third, now boast the same record as them with eight wins and one defeat.

The Italians won a key battle with Russia who had previously only lost one match as well and started the day ahead of them.

Italy moved up to third by beating Russia
Italy, in white, moved up to third by beating Russia ©Getty Images

However, they came through in straight sets, 25-15, 26-24, 25-18, to leapfrog their opponents and become the main challengers to the all-important top two.

Italy's final game is against Poland while the US are yet to play Russia, so there are some big fixtures still to be contested.

Fifth placed Argentina's record moved to seven wins and two defeats, the same as Russia, as they beat hosts Japan 26-24, 25-22, 25-21.

Across the city at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, Canada were 3-0 winners over Venezuela, 25-18, 25-22, 25-23, but both countries are out of contention for the top two.

Australia recorded their second victory as they beat Iran 3-0, 27-25, 27-25, 25-22 in another dead rubber, while Egypt won a thrilling five setter against African rivals Tunisia in a clash which saw both countries looking for their first win.

In a topsy-turvy affair, the Egyptians were to prevail 23-25, 25-21, 23-25, 25-17, 15-11.

Countries that don't qualify through the World Cup will have another shot at Rio through continental tournaments.

Related stories
September 2015: 
High fliers edge closer to Rio 2016 qualification at Men's Volleyball World Cup
September 2015: United States and Poland in seventh heaven at FIVB Men's World Cup
September 2015US and Poland remain unbeaten as Canada win record-breaker at FIVB Men's World Cup
September 2015: United States sweep aside Italy to maintain perfect start to men's FIVB World Cup
September 2015: Italy recover from shaky start to record third victory at FIVB Men's World Cup