VETERANS STEER THAILAND TO CONVINCING 3-0 WIN AGAINST IRAN AND SEMI-FINALS

VETERANS STEER THAILAND TO CONVINCING 3-0 WIN AGAINST IRAN AND SEMI-FINALS

Seoul, Korea, August 22, 2019 – Thailand, fielding a strong squad with five veterans who helped their team capture the Asian title in 2009 and 2013, proved a class above Iran to cruise to a straight-set 25-16 25-21 25-13 win against Iran in their Top 8 playoffs in Pool E at the 20th Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship at Jamsil Indoor Stadium on Thursday.

Thailand, strengthened by experienced players comprising hard-attacking Onuma Sittirak, Pleumjit Thinkaow, Malika Kanthong, Wilavan Apinyapong and skilful setter Nootsara Tomkom, made a superb start in the first set. Malika, Pleumjit and Onuma took turns penetrating the rivals’ defence with their powerful attacks. Iran tried to cope with the Thai tactics, but their attempts were in vain. Thailand went on to win the first set 25-16.

In the second set, Iran exploded powerful attacks to foil the Thailand ‘s blocking attempts for the initial 6-3 lead. The well-organized Thais upped their tempo to surge ahead the rivals with a two-point advantage at 8-6, thanks to setter Nootsara’s exceptional skills. Thailand widened the gap to16-9. Iran did not want to give up easily and they hit back to come close at 15-19 before Onuma scored back-to-back points with her mighty attacks to help Thailand clinch the second set 25-21.

Thailand replaced their key players with substitutions in the third set including Watchareeya Nuanjam and Wanitchaya Luangtonglang, but the team still played well up to their standard. To make short work of their rivals, Thailand took the easy set 25-13 and match.

With two straight wins like Korea, Thailand had the same performance with 6 points and both teams will play a decisive match on Friday to decide the top spot in Pool E. However, with only top two teams from Pool E and Pool F advancing, Thailand and Korea from Pool E have already qualified for the cross semi-finals.

After the match, Malika Kanthong said about the expectation of the Friday’s match against hosts Korea, “All Korean players, especially Kim Yeonkoung, have wonderful skills. The match against Korea will probably be tough, so we will try to prepare our best.”

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