Ardabil, Iran, August 10, 2017 – China, led by Jiang Chuan, pulled off a dramatic 3-1 (25-15 25-21 22-25 25-23) in Kazakhstan to taste their first win at the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Asian Qualifier Pool A at the 6,000-seater Rezazadeh Gymnasium on Thursday.
In the first set, the Chinese took an early 8-5 lead and never let go as they increasingly widened the gap after a monster spike by Jiang Chuan. The Kazakhs, whose game was errors-riddled, threw caution to the wind as they attempted to claw back the deficit but they were simply outclassed as China sealed the first set 25-15.
It was the similar script in the second set, which saw China took the reins of the game. Raul Lozano’s men fought tooth and nail to remain on top. Kazakhstan, silver medallists at the recent Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship in Surabaya, Indonesia, did their best to narrow down the gap, but still found the rivals too hot to handle as China claimed the second set 25-21.
Kazakhstan showed improvement in the third set closing the first technical time-out 8-5. Mr. Li Quang Quiang, the President of Chinese Volleyball Association entered the stadium directly from the airport to extend his support as he finds this tournament very important. Kazakhstan were not going to go down without a fight and battled to stay within reach of a slot and finally triumphed to close the set 25-22.
China entered the court with a different attitude and Raul Lozano’s five substitutions helped the team get their form back on track to clinch the hard-fought fourth set 25-23 and match.
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