Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, October 8, 2016 – Vietnam sent Myanmar packing in comfortable straight sets 25-20 25-13 25-18 to next battle it out against hosts Thailand for the lone ticket to contest the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Qualification Asian Zone Final Round next year.
Going down in straight sets to Thailand on Friday, Myanmar had to take on Vietnam in a must-win match on Saturday to keep their hopes of qualifying for the Final Round alive. However, things turned sour for Myanmar as they succumbed to humiliating straight-set defeat to Vietnam.
In their second encounter of the 2018 FIVB Men’s World Championship Qualification Southeast Asian Zonal Tournament at the Nakhon Pathom Municipality Gymnasium in Nakhon Pathom on Saturday, Myanmar fielded a young, potential line-up, most of them competed in the Myanmar team which finished a well-earned fifth place at the last year’s Asian Men’s U23 Championship at home in Nay Pyi Taw. Myanmar were strengthened by hard-attacking Aung Thu, who played professionally at the Thailand League for several seasons, veteran Myo Min Oo and Thwin Htoo Zin, he team’s tallest player with the height of 192cm
Vietnam, silver medallists at the last year’s South East Asian (SEA) Games in Singapore, were led by Nguyen Huu Ha, Tu Thanh Thuan, Giang Van Duc and Nguyen Hoang Thuong. Myanmar opened up aggressively in the first set, with Aung Thu puncturing the Vietnamese defence with his exceptional attacks. However, Vietnam fielded more individual talents and played with more consistency and confidence to take the first set 25-20.
Conceding one set, Myanmar tried to pull their game together with an high hope of making a comeback, but their determination did not pay its dividends when Vietnam turned the heat on the rivals. Tu Thanh Thuan and Nguyen Huu Ha took turns attacking Myanmar to help the team clinch the one-sided set 25-13.
The third set was still dominated by Vietnam which eventually ended 25-18 in favour of the Vietnamese.
Nguyen Hoan Thuong led Vietnam with 12 points including 7 kills and 3 stuff blocks. Tu Thanh Thuan, Nguyen Huu Ha and Nguyen Van Du assisted with 12, 11, 9 kills respectively. Aung Thu scored a match-high 15 points for Myanmar including 13 kills from 26 attempts.
With two straight losses, Myanmar’s 2018 World Championship campaign came to an end. Winning one match apiece, Vietnam and hosts Thailand now set up a tough clash on Sunday to determine the winning team which will secure the lone ticket from Southeast Asian Zone to contest the next year’s Asian Zone Final Round.
Vietnam b Myanmar 3-0 (25-20 25-13 25-18)
Sunday, October 9, 2016
6pm: Thailand v Vietnam
TEAM RANKING AFTER TWO MATCHES
1. Vietnam 3 points
2. Thailand 3 points
3. Myanmar 0 point