Gabriele Nelli scored a match-high 28 points as Italy defeated the United States ©Getty Images

France and Brazil maintained their unbeaten starts to the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) Nations League campaign to sit top of the rankings after four games.

Brazil faced off against Iran, who also had a perfect record ahead of the clash and something had to give as the week two matches got underway at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza in Tokyo.

Despite leading twice in the match though, the Iranians were edged out in a tense fourth set and Brazil raced clear in the fifth to seal a 23-25, 25-16, 21-25, 33-31, 15-10 win.

Brazil captain Lucas Saatkamp reflected on a tough Pool 7 match.

He said: "During the VNL (Volleyball Nations League), transportation can be very tough because we go all around the world. 

"But our 14 players need to get together for this hard time. 

"Iran are a very strong team. 

"We did our best and are very satisfied with this result."

In the Pool's other match Japan cruised past Argentina in a straight sets 25-16, 25-16, 33-31 triumph.

France joined the Brazilians at the top with four wins from four as they cruised past reigning world champions Poland  in their Pool 5 contest at the Ningbo Beilun Stadium in China.

Having breezed into a 2-0 lead, complacency gave the Polish hope of a fight back but a staunch French side regained their composure to record a 28-26, 25-23, 24-26, 25-20 victory.

A tournament record 19 blocks was the only positive for Poland as they bettered the previous team record of 18, set in 2018 by Italy in their 3-2 loss to South Korea.

China claimed their first victory of the tournament with a straight sets 26-24, 25-20, 25-17 win against Bulgaria.

In Pool 6, Italy saw off a spirited effort from the United States as they moved up to fifth in the overall standings at the Ufa Arena in Russia.

Gabriele Nelli led Italy to a convincing 25-23, 13-25, 25-20, 25-23 win as he scored a match-high 28 points.

The US tried to outserve the Italians but in the end the Europeans prevailed for their third win in four matches.

Defending champions Russia moved up to sixth in the table with a comfortable 25-19, 25-22, 25-20 win against Portugal.

At the TD Place Arena in Ottawa, Germany needed five sets to see off Serbia as they recorded a 25-20, 16-25, 26-28, 26-24, 15-9 victory in Pool 8. 

Hosts Canada enjoyed a straight sets 25-23, 25-17, 25-18 win against Australia to move up to fourth in the overall standings.