Kuwait Club celebrate their quarterfinal win against Jordan’s Shabab Al Hussain
Bangkok, Thailand, March 16, 2023 – In-form Al Rayyan SC and Police Union outplayed their respective rivals in comfortable straight sets to set up an all-Qataris battle, with unbeaten Kuwait Club challenging Dar Kulaib in another semifinal encounter of the 1st West Asia Men’s Club Volleyball Championship after tie-break win against hosts Shabab Al-Hussain on Wednesday.
Competing at the Sports Palace Hall in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, top four teams from each pool determinedly put on their fine forms in the action-packed cross quarterfinals in efforts to secure their places in the Thursday’s semifinals.
Pool A winners Kuwait Club, led by Iranian left-hander Saber Kazermi, who steered Iran to victory at the 2021 Asian Senior Men’s Championship in Japan and Iran’s Foolad Sirjan to their unprecedented title at the Asian Men’s Club Championship in Thailand in the same year, and Chinese national player Liu Libin, struggle hard in the highly-anticipated clash against Shabab Al Hussain, fourth place in Pool B.
The formidable Kuwait Club overcame a strong challenge from the host side to take the closely-contested first set 26-24. However, Shabab Al Hussain regained their composure and hit back hard to clinch the next two sets 25-20, 25-21, needing only one more set to beat the strong visitors.
Shabab Al Hussain
Still, things did not turn out as the host side had expected as Kuwait Club gradually pulled their game together and punctured the rivals’ defence with their aggressive attacks and solid blocks to win the crucial fourth set 25-15, forcing the tie-breaker to determine the eventual winners in this match.
Ali Ghanim Al Kuwari, left, President of West Asia Volleyball Association and Qatar Volleyball Association (QVA), watch quarterfinal matches at the venue
Kuwait Club went all-out in every element in the decider to beat Shabab Al Hussain for the set 15-7 and the hard-fought match. The Kuwaiti side will next go up against Dar Kulaib in the Thursday’s semifinals.
Dar Kulaib celebrate their victory
Against Oman Club, Dar Kulaib, former consecutive two-time Crown Prince’s Cup champions in Bahrain which finished second place in Pool B, made a solid start with the close first-set win 25-23 and continued their exceptional form to grab the next two sets 25-18, 25-12 for a sensational straight-set victory against the third place in Pool A.
Meanwhile, Police Union, former four-time Qatar Volleyball League champions and Pool A second place, fought well against South Gas, the 7th place at the last year’s Asian Men’s Club Championship in Iran and third position in Pool B. Police Union cruised past the Iraqi side in thrilling straight sets 25-21, 25-22, 25-19 to set up a do-or-die battle against compatriots Al Rayyan SC in the all-Qataris semifinals.
Al Rayyan SC
Fifth place at the last year’s Asian Men’s Club Championship, Al Rayyan, which have yet lost a match to their respective rivals for a clean sweep in Pool B, on Wednesday pulled off a straight-set 25-17, 25-17, 25-12 victory against hosts Jordan’s Al Wehdat, fourth place in Pool A.
On Thursday, Oman Club will take on Shabab Al Hussain and Al Wehdat face off with South Gas in the classification round for 5th-8th places, while the semifinals see Dar Kulaib challenge Kuwait Club and Police Union go up against Al Rayyan SC.
WEDNESDAY’S QUARTERFINAL RESULTS
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