Asian Championship: Qatar face Indonesia in the must-win clash today

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Qatar placed themselves back in the contention for a spot in the 19th SMM Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship quarter-finals with a straight win against regional arch-rivals Saudi Arabia in Surabaya, Indonesia on Tuesday.

In a crucial Pool A match, Qatar posted a 23–25 21–25 21–25 triumph and now face hosts Indonesia in a must-win clash on Wednesday.

Indonesia, in another group league match, resisted Kazakhstan bravely before going down in five sets. With their tough come-from-behind 23-25 27-25 25-21 21-25 15-13 triumph, their second one, Kazakhstan went to the top of the pool and qualified for the knock-out stage.

Kazakhstan, Qatar and Indonesia have all four points each. And on the morrow, Kazakhstan will clash with Saudi Arabia and are favourites to win.

Qatar’s Italian coach Massimiliano Giaccardi was delighted with his team’s victory and said that the Wednesday’s match is a do or die game.

“Yes, it was a hard match and both the teams were under pressure as they knew that a loss could mead an exit from the top eight teams. So in that sense, the match was quite important for us,” he commented form Surabaya.

There was a setback for Qatar just before the match as Mubarak Dahi Waleed got hurt during the warm-up. But his replacement Ahmed put up a fine show as the Opposite and impressed the coach. “During the warm-up, Mubarak got injured so we had to play like the World League with Ahmed who did a really good job.”

Talking about the Indonesia match, he said, “Three teams are with four points each. So a victory will be enough for us. Certainly, we’re going to give out our best on the court.”

He rued the lost opportunity in the opener against Kazakhstan yesterday and said, “We lost a big opportunity against Kazakhstan. We struggled because we were rushing to try to win. We lost our way and with the substitutions, Kazakhstan turned around the game.

“Thanks to Indonesia today, we’ve have one more chance. It is going to be a difficult match but we need to keep our level of play tomorrow.

“With this kind of pressure, it is not good every time to play home. We can challenge them. They have some strong players in some positions but I trust my players and our system. Everyone will be crucial and we must win to advance to the knock-out,” Giaccardi added.

Other top six qualifiers – runners-up Iran and Chinese Taipei from the Pool B, defending champions Japan and South Korea from Pool C, China and Australia from Pool D – all posted second win in a row and made it to the quarter-finals. But they will have to play two matches each in the Pools E and F in order to determine the line-up in the last eight stage, which will begin on July 30th. The rest teams will play in the Groups G and H before the 9 to 16 classification playoffs start.

Results (Tuesday)

Team 1 Scores Team 2 Results

Pool A
Saudi Arabia 0–3 Qatar 23–25 21–25 21–25
Indonesia 2–3 Kazakhstan 25–23 25–27 21–25 25–21 13–15

Pool B
Iraq 0–3 Chinese Taipei 24–26 21–25 22–25
Iran 3–0 Pakistan 25–23 25–22 25–14

Pool C
Sri Lanka 0–3 South Korea 15–25 20–25 20–25
Japan 3–0 Vietnam 25–13 25–19 25–18

Pool D
Australia 3–2 Thailand 19–25 26–28 25–19 25–14 15–11
Hong Kong 0–3 China 13–25 16–25 19–25

Standings

Pool A
Rank Team MW ML Pts SW SL SR PW PL PR
1 Kazakhstan 2 0 4 6 4 1.500 215 212 1.014
2 Qatar 1 1 4 5 3 1.667 178 169 1.053
3 Indonesia 1 1 4 5 4 1.250 207 204 1.015
4 Saudi Arabia 0 2 0 1 6 0.167 158 173 0.913

Pool B
1 Iran 2 0 6 6 0 MAX 150 113 1.327
2 Chinese Taipei 2 0 6 6 0 MAX 151 114 1.325
3 Iraq 0 2 0 0 6 0.000 121 151 0.801
4 Pakistan 0 2 0 0 6 0.000 106 150 0.707

Pool C
1 Japan 2 0 6 6 0 MAX 150 100 1.500
2 South Korea 2 0 6 6 0 MAX 150 108 1.389
3 Sri Lanka 0 2 0 0 6 0.000 105 150 0.700
4 Vietnam 0 2 0 0 6 0.000 103 150 0.687

Pool D
1 China 2 0 6 6 0 MAX 154 107 1.439
2 Australia 2 0 5 6 2 3.000 185 150 1.233
3 Thailand 0 2 1 2 6 0.333 156 189 0.825
4 Hong Kong 0 2 0 0 6 0.000 101 150 0.673

Keys: MW Matches Won, ML Matches Lost, Pts Points, SW Sets Won, SL Sets Lost, SR Sets Ratio, PW Points Won, PW Points Lost, PR Points Ratios