Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Japan’s Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza beat Việt Nam in straight sets 25-19, 25-20, 25-21 in the quarter-finals of the SMM 2017 Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship in northern province of Ninh Bình on July 4.
Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza, which are now in the semi-finals, had won a silver medal in the recently concluded volleyball championship in Japan. They have sent their strongest team to Việt Nam, which includes two national players, Shuzo Yamada and Takuya Takamatsu, alongside Croatian spiker Omrcen Igor, the best player in the European championship in 2004 and 2006.
Powered by Igor, Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza, which clinched the bronze last year, put pressure and proved their superiority over to the host team with spectacular attacks and powerful jump serves. Their determined efforts bore fruit, and they won the first two sets 25-19, 25-20.
In the third set, Việt Nam improved their tactics and cut down on unforced errors to take an early 8-5 lead, much to their opponent’s surprise. However, this lead did not last long, courtesy Igor’s powerful serves and aggressive attacks. Việt Nam could not overcome the Japanese team’s onslaughts and they won the set 25-21, the match and a semi-final berth.
“Việt Nam have something that no other team in this tournament has – they take a home crowd advantage. Therefore, it definitely was not easy for us. But I am very happy that we finally won the match,” Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza’s Finnish head coach Tommi Tillikainen said on the website asianvolleyball.net.
In the other quarter-final matches, Sarmayeh Bank of Iran beat Al-Bahri Sport Club of Iraq 25-12, 25-13, 23-25, 25-16; while Qatar’s Al Arabi Sports Club crushed Chinese Taipei’s Taichung Commercial Bank 25-19, 25-22, 25-16.
Kazakhstan’s Altay VC also advanced to the semi-finals after demolishing China’s Beijing Baic Motor 3-0 (25-19 25-22 25-14). Altay VC, led by two Ukrainians Vasyl Tupchii and Alexandr Stolnikov, shone through with their spectacular attacks, foiling their rival’s high blocking moves. After winning the first two hard-fought sets 25-19, 25-22, the Kazakhs outperformed with their mighty attacks for a comfortable third set win at 25-14.
In the semi-finals, Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza will face Kazakhstan’s Altay, who have yet to lose to their rivals in this tournament.
Việt Nam will compete for the fifth to eighth positions. They will face Beijing Baic Motor today.
The championship runs till July 6, and winners will secure their berth in next year’s FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship as Asia’s representatives. — VNS