KARACHI: Pakistan on Friday pulled off a big win when they demolished former four-time champions South Korea in straight sets in their second and final game of the quarter-finals stage of the 21st Asian Men’s Senior Volleyball Championship at the Chiba Port Arena, Japan.
The Greens-shirts, who failed to make it to the semi-finals, won the hearts of the fans with a remarkable victory against a strong Asian side.
The set scores were 25-23, 25-22 and 25-14 in Pakistan’s favour.
Pakistan will face Australia in the 5th to 8th place semi-finals on Saturday (today).
Qatar and South Korea will also engage for these spots, also Saturday.
Iran and Chinese Taipei qualified for the semi-finals from the group which included Pakistan.
Iran routed Chinese Taipei 3-0 on Friday with the set scores being 25-10, 25-23, 25-11.
“It was a great win today,” Pakistan’s captain Aimal Khan told ‘The News’ from Chiba. “I am really sad that we could not qualify for the semi-finals. We should have won against Chinese Taipei in our previous game,” he said.
Pakistan Volleyball Federation’s (PVF) chairman Chaudhry Yaqoob was happy with Pakistan’s commanding victory over South Korea.
“It was a great day for Pakistan,” he said in a whatsapp message from Japan. “Pakistan fielded junior boys with the average age of 21 and half years with one boy Musawar below 17.
“The boys literally demolished former Asian Champions South Korea. Pakistan showed game near perfection today in all departments. Murad Khan and Musawer’s combined block put Korea in real trouble,” Yaqoob said. “And both of them made powerful attacks, particularly Murad khan was outstanding with power spiking from the front line as well as from behind the attacking line,” he said. “Zaheer also gave account of himself with an effective blocking middle position attack. Usman Faryad Shani, Afaq, and Libero Maaz did nearly perfect reception. Hamid was good at the setting zone,” he added.
“The high-class game that Murad Khan has demonstrated has attracted Serbia, a high ranked country in volleyball, to offer him a contract for playing league there. It will open the door for him to play in Italy and other great volleyball powers in Europe,” he said. “Had Pakistan won their Thursday’s match against Chinese Taipei which just slipped off Pakistan’s hands the team with today’s win would have qualified for the semi-finals,” Yaqoob said.
From Group E, nine-time champions Japan and China qualified for the semi-finals. China beat Qatar 3-2, their second victory in the last eight stage. Japan downed Australia 3-0.
In the race for the 9th to 16th places, in Group G, India beat Uzbekistan 3-0 and will now face Saudi Arabia on Saturday in the 9th to 12th place semi-final.
In the same group, Bahrain defeated Kuwait and now will lock horns with Kazakhstan in the 9 to 12th place semi-finals on Saturday.
In Group H, Saudi Arabia defeated Thailand 3-1, while Kazakhstan blanked Hong Kong 3-0.
On Saturday (today), Kuwait will meet Hong Hong and Uzbekistan will face Thailand in the 13th to 16th place semi-finals.
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