Taipei: Unbeaten Qatar booked their place in the semi-finals after thrashing South Korea 3-0 (25-19, 25-14, 25-22) on day four of the 6th AVC Cup for Men at the University of Taipei (Tianmu) Gymnasium in Taipei, Chinese Taipei yesterday.
They will now meet the reigning Asian Champions Japan who recorded a convincing 3-1 (25-21, 25-17, 21-25, 25-15) victory over Australia.
Qatari players demonstrated exceptional skills to outplay the south Koreans who started off in a competitive manner. The first set saw both sides come up with great defense to level at 7-7 before Qatar’s height advantage in blocking forced the Koreans to make more mistakes and go down 25-19.
The second set turned out to be a similar script as the Qataris remained in awesome form, holding the Koreans off with their solid blocks to win a comfortable set 25-14.
Trailing with just two points behind at 6-8, Korea fought hard for a comeback in the third set. Narrowing to one-point margin at 22-23, Korea called a timeout to set blocking tactics against Qatar. However, Qatar rejected to be chased and won the set with three straight points.
Qatar won this crucial match and will next go up against Japan in the semi-finals after two-day rest.
“We did a great job today. We performed excellently and felt better and better day by day. We need to do more research and pay more effort to win next game,” said Qatar head coach Soto Camilo.
Renan Ribeiro and Mohamed Ibrahim both chipped in with 12 points apiece for Qatar.
Earlier, title-holders Iran continued their winning streak to secure the first semi-final berth after downing Vietnam in a comfortable three-setter (25-19, 25-14, 25-19) yesterday.
Iran troubled Vietnam with their advantage in high blocking and thundering attacking. Holding a 6-point margin at 16-10, Iranian bagged the first set 25-19.
In the second set, destructive Porya Yali scored the first point with an above-the-block attack and led the Iranians to stay in front with a five-point clear at 8-3 before they widened to snatch the comfortable second set 25-14.
Although Vietnam tried hard at the beginning of the third set to bring the game back, Iranians’ blocking height made short work of the Vietnamese.
Vietnam had once led 11-9, but their good show did not last long. Leveling 15-15, Iran only allowed Vietnam 4 more points before taking the set 25-19 and match.