World Championship qualifiers: Qatar down Kazakhstan, avenge Asian championship loss

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Qatar avenged their recent loss to Kazakhstan with a straight-set crushing during the Asian qualifiers for the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship on Saturday.

At the Rezazadeh Stadium in Ardabil, Iran, Qatar pulled off a 25–21 25–17 25–18 victory over Kazakhstan and kept their hopes for getting one of the two top berths in the Pool A mathematically alive.
In another match, hosts Iran beat China 25–21 29–27 25–20 to go to the top of the pool. After today’s action, China were in the second spot with a 2-1 win-loss record and Qatar follow in the third place, also with 2-1 record.

South Korea and Kazakhstan are in the fourth and fifth places, respectively, having lost both their matches so far.

Qatar had lost to Kazakhstan in the Asian championship in Surabaya, Indonesia after going 2-0 up. In the similar fashion, they were beaten by Indonesia as well, which affected their overall finish in the annual continental championship.

Qatar coach Massimiliano Giaccardi was satisfied with the team’s progress but said his players still needed to do a lot to be consistent at the top level. “It is good to win against Kazakhstan because we lost to them in the AVC Asian Championship and it was still hurting.

“My players played great volleyball after tough game against China on Friday and they came back rather quickly to beat Kazakhstan. Big congratulations to my team,” he added.

Talking about the team’s prospects in the pool, he said, “It is not just us. We need to see if South Korea can beat China and we can defeat Iran. There are slender chances of making it to the worlds. But it is still better than nothing,” he reacted.

“I’m surely satisfied with some progress but we need to do more if we want to do well at the top in the continent. This will be our aim for the Qatar team in future,” said the Italian mentor.

On Friday, Qatar lost to China in their second match in the pool 22-25 21-25 22-25. This was a second straight victory for China who had beaten Kazakhstan 25-15, 25-21, 22-25, 25-23 on Thursday.

Saturday’s results
Qatar 3–0 Kazakhstan 25–21 25–17 25–18
Iran 3–0 China 25–21 29–27 25–20

Rank Team MW ML Pts SW SL Ratio PW PL Ratio
1 Iran 2 0 6 6 0 MAX 156 121 1.289
2 China 2 1 6 6 4 1.500 240 228 1.053
3 Qatar 2 1 5 6 5 1.200 241 233 1.034
4 South Korea 0 2 1 2 6 0.333 155 178 0.871
5 Kazakhstan 0 2 0 1 6 0.167 140 172 0.814