Italy defeated China in straight sets to leave the defending champions on the brink of elimination at the International Volleyball Federation Women's Under-20 World Championships in Mexico.
The 2011 winners made it two wins from as many matches in the second group phase with a 25-19, 25-22, 25-20 success in Pool E.
In the group's other game at the Hermanos Carreon Stadium in Aguascalientes, Brazil bounced backed from their 3-0 defeat to the Italians by seeing off 2017 silver medallists Russia by the same margin.
Brazil, the record winners of the tournament, triumphed 25-22, 25-23, 25-14 as they chase a seventh title.
The results leave Italy top of Pool E with one round of fixtures to play but holders China are bottom after also losing their first group match in straight sets to Russia in a repeat of the 2017 final.
Russia and Brazil now have the same record of one victory and one defeat with the top two qualifying for the semi-finals.
Italy, who have a 100 per cent record after also winning all of their opening group phase games, will play Russia in their last clash tomorrow with China meeting Brazil.
The Chinese could still qualify but would need to win 3-0, Italy to win by the same margin and a big points swing.
In Pool F, Japan's fine form continued as they came from two sets down to beat Turkey.
The Asian nation preserved their 100 per cent record as they battled back to triumph 22-25, 20-25, 25-15, 25-19, 18-16 in a thrilling contest.
It leaves them top of the group while Turkey were unable to build on their four set opening success over Poland.
The group's other game saw the United States eliminated as they lost 25-18, 25-20, 25-23 to the Poles.
It means that the Americans can only draw level on points with Poland and Turkey and they cannot get in front of either on the number of sets won.
Japan will play Poland in tomorrow's last group fixtures with the US meeting Turkey.
The semi-finals are then scheduled for Saturday (July 20) with the final a day later.