Maldives, January 18, 2015 – Maldives will host the AVC Continental Cup Central Asian Sub Zonal Tournament from January 19 to 23 at Dhongandu Beach Volleyball Court located in the capital of Maldives, Male’.
The tournament includes both men’s and women’s events. In the men’s competition, a total of six teams compete for the top honour, while in the women’s tournament, only two teams will participate – hosts Maldives and Nepal. The men’s tournament comprises two pools. India, Nepal and Pakistan are in Pool A, with Pool B consisting of hosts Maldives, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
The competition is structured so that each country is represented by two teams. This applies to both the men’s and women’s events. In a clash, both teams of each country will play against the respective teams of the other country. If a country wins both matches, it is a clear win for the county and if both countries are even, a golden match will be played to decide the eventual winners.
Three teams from the men’s event will qualify to the AVC Beach Volleyball Continental Cup Zonal Tournament Central Asia, while both the Maldivian and Nepalese teams will move forward in the women’s tournament.
Mr Hussain Mohamed, General-Secretary of the Volleyball Association of the Maldives (VAM), stated, “We are very honoured to host this event in the Maldives and we hope all the aspects of the tournament goes smoothly as planned”.
The opening matches in the men’s event are to be played between Maldives and Bangladesh, at 1600 hours local time, on January 19.
The Maldives teams are comprised of Shiunaz Abdul Wahid and Ahmed Anil Naseer as Maldives team 1, and Ismail Sajid and Ashfaq Adam as Maldives team 2. On the other hand, the Bangladesh teams are comprised of Md Shafiqur Rahman and Sayed Al Zabir as Bangladesh team 1 and Sheikh Shihab Ahmed and Sree Narayo Debnath as Bangladesh team 2.
Maldives victorious over Bangladesh
On January 19, the opening match of the tournament saw Maldives versus Bangladesh. In the first match was between the Bangladeshi and Maldivian Team 1, the first set was won by Bangladesh. The team was seen more likely to win the second set, even though the score was rising up neck-to-neck. However, both teams were almost equally competent and it was a very close call.
The Maldivian team performed yet better in the second half, taking it home 17-21. It is to be noted that both teams performed very well, and the score rose very closely in this set as well.
A third set was played, with Maldives emerging victorious. The crowd were seen cheering both the Maldivian and Bangladeshi teams, as a large number of Bangladeshis live in the Maldives.
The second match of the session was played between Team 2 of both sides. Maldives won by two sets to nil. Although the Bangladeshi team were very competent, Maldives had the upper hand in the match the majority of the time.
India wins the tight contest against Pakistan
If anybody thought the afternoon session’s matches were close, and both countries were equally competent, they are in for a big surprise regarding the events that unveiled during the matches played in the second session for the day. The teams took being neck-to-neck to a whole new level.
Pakistan team coach commented after the match, “India won by luck and both teams were equal. It’s how the game is and we’re feeling very good”. It is to be mentioned that he was in relatively good spirits even after the loss, and seemed prepared to come back stronger.
The Indian coach, on the other hand, mentioned the ages-long rivalry between both countries, even going as far to say “It was just like India-Pakistan war”. It was an extremely competitive session that kept all spectators in great suspense. The coach also mentioned that they had “some small errors to be rectified” and seemed very content and optimistic about their future in the competition.
India won both matches 2-1, with the first match lasting for 53 minutes and the second for 50 minutes. The second match was also quite shocking, in a way. After winning the second set 23-25 by Pakistan, there was a drastic change in their performance which saw their loss in the third set end in a surprising 15-6.