Poland celebrate after winning the men's International Volleyball Federation Nations League title for the first time ©Volleyball World

Finals hosts Poland beat the leaders after the group stage the United States to win the International Volleyball Federation Men’s Nations League title.

Poland, who finished third after the group phase, made the most of home advantage at the Ergo Arena in Gdańsk to go all the way to the gold-medal match.

They edged past the US 25-23 in the first set, before the US levelled proceedings by taking an equally tight second 26-24.

Poland then upped their level and cheered on by a home crowd of more than 11,000 people, won sets three and four by identical 25-18 scorelines to secure a maiden Men’s Nations League crown.

Opposite Lukasz Kaczmarek proved the star performer in the final, with the replacement for injured team captain Bartosz Kurek top scoring with 25 points, including 23 kills.

Earlier in the finals stage, Poland beat Brazil in the quarter-finals 3-0, before running out 3-1 winners against Japan in the semi-finals.

The US run to the showpiece match included a narrow 3-2 victory over holders France in the quarter-finals, and then a 3-0 win over Italy in the semi-finals, however their loss to Poland means they have finished as runners-up in successive Nations League campaigns.

Earlier Japan overcame current world champions Italy in a thrilling bronze-medal match, winning in five sets to earn a first international medal for 14 years.

Japan raced into a two-set lead by scores of 25-18 and 25-23, before Italy levelled proceedings by taking the next two sets by 25-17 scorelines.

The decider went Japan’s way by a score of 15-9, with captain Yuki Ishikawa producing a performance of great leadership as he scored 21 points, all in kills, including the match-clinching point in set five.

Defeat in the bronze-medal match means Italy are still looking for their first ever medal at Volleyball Nations League level.