Qatar on track to claim ninth spot in Asian Championship

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Qatar kept hopes of a ninth place finish alive in the Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship when they overpowered Pakistan in five sets in the semi-finals of the ninth to 12th place classification in Surabaya, Indonesia on Sunday.

Qatar, who secured their best finish in the Asians in 2015 by reaching the semi-finals, first led and then trailed 1-2 in the match full of ups and downs.

However, they bounced back in the fourth set and went on to post a 25–19 20–25 17–25 25–18 15–12 victory over the opponents.
Both Qatar and Pakistan earlier featured in an international friendly tournament in Doha and the hosts had posted a 3-0 victory to win the three-nation event.

The strength of the Qatar’s preliminary group was underlined in the quarter-finals with hosts Indonesia and Kazakhstan both pulling off superb victories and booking a slot in the semi-finals. It may be recalled that Qatar had led both the teams before suffering a collapse in five sets.

Kazakhstan pulled off a surprise against Chinese Taipei, beating them in straight sets. But the home team went one step farther when they eliminated four-time finalists and last edition’s runners-up Iran in five sets, entering the semi-finals for a first time.

Iran appeared headed for an easy victory, going up 2-0. However, egged on by local crowd, Indonesia started turning heat back on the rivals and reeled off the next three sets to wrest an 18-21 18-25 25-23 26-24 15-11 triumph.

In other quarter-finals, defending champions and eight-time winners Japan and South Korea advanced to the final four bracket. While Japan downed Australia 25-21 25-16 25-22, four-time champions South Korea got past China 25-18 25-19 25-23.

Results (Quarter-finals)
Chinese Taipei 0–3 Kazakhstan 22–25 22–25 23–25
Japan 3–0 Australia 25–21 25–16 25–22
South Korea 3–0 China 25–18 25–19 25–23
Iran 2–3 Indonesia 25–18 25–18 23–25 24–26 11–15

9th to 12th semi-finals
Qatar 3–2 Pakistan 25–19 20–25 17–25 25–18 15–12
Thailand 2–3 Vietnam 19–25 16–25 25–21 25–16 10–15

13th to 16th semi-finals
Sri Lanka 3–0 Hong Kong 25–18 25–13 25–17
Iraq 3–0 Saudi Arabia 25–20 25–19 25–17