IM STEERS KOREA TO TIE-BREAKER THRILLER ROUT OF CHINA
Manama, Bahrain, July 22, 2018 – Im Donghyeok guided Korea to a 3-2 (25-23, 25-23, 20-25, 22-25, 15-12) win over title-holders China in the 19th Asian Men’s U20 Volleyball Championship at Isa Sport City Hall on Sunday.
Im Donghyeok top-scored with 35 points, including 33 spikes, as Korea went into a five-set thriller for their first win. Kim Sunho added 14 points.
Contesting Pool A, China have only one point from two straight losses against Korea and Iran to end their round-robin preliminaries in third place, while Iran and Korea will fight it out for the pool winners in their last preliminary encounter on July 23.
Korea started fast with a masterclass win in the first two sets with the similar margin 25-23, 25-23. However, China roared back to take the next two sets 25-20, 25-22 with thunderous spikes, well executed sets and innate cohesion.
After such a strong opening, Korea started the fifth set looking for more settled as thunderous hitting from Lim Sungjin to help Korea win the tie-breaker15-12.
“China are tough but my wing players did their best today and helped the team drive into victory. Iran are our next opponents whose forms are technically high but we will do our best against them. If my main arrangement does not work, I will use my bench players as well,” Korea head coach Kang Sunghyung stated.
“Today, we faced some disadvantages especially the referees who always made some erratic judgements against us in the third set. But finally, we got back to the match. In our next match against Iran, we will do our best. We followed their trainings and matches and will do our best,” Korea captain, Choi Ikje, who joined the Korea’s U19 side last year, commented.
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