Qatar advance into Asian Volleyball Championship second round after straight-set victory over Bahrain
Qatar staged a straight-set (25-19, 25-20,26-24) win against Bahrain yesterday to secure their second victory in the Preliminary Round – Pool A and advance into the second round of the 21st Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship in Chiba, Japan.
The team ended the preliminary in second place, behind hosts Japan who defeated them on Match Day 1, and will next face Australia in the second-round match tomorrow.
Youssef Oughlaf was the top-performer with 15 points (13 attacks, one block, one service ace).
The Qatari side imposed a strong presence at the start of the match, with Oughlaf running things from the right side while Renan Ribeiro was in solid form on the left.
Belal Nabel Abunabot was impressive on block-defence, making attacking opportunities difficult for Bahrain.
Despite Ali Ebrahim scoring on several plays, the Bahrainis could not establish a good tempo on offence which prompted coach Marco Queiroga to bring in substitutes from the bench to gain a fresh approach.
The substitutes succeeded in several sequences, but the Bahrain team later fell out, giving the first set, 25-19, in favour of Qatar.
Naser Anan brought in his flair from the flanks by the next set to help Bahrain regain their momentum. Abbas AlKhabbaz also kept a close watch on block-defence.
Meanwhile, Qatar kept playing to their strengths, with setter Milos Stevanovic activating the attacks with much variety to take the second set, 25-20.
Bahrain established better quality of plays in the third set, as Qatar’s coach Camilo Andres Soto retained his substitutes on the court. Mohamed Anan sparked the offence from the flanks.
They also played well in transition, and they showed seamless coordination of the first and second lines of defence.
Qatar tried to run their system against their opponents’ tough challenge. They played patiently with each sequence, passing one ball after the other and posting good defence to set up their counter-attack. They stood their ground and delivered during the definitive moments of the match.
With Bahrain reaching set point but later falling to their errors, Qatar took the third set 26-24.
Qatar had earlier claimed their first win of the tournament on Monday after a 3-0 win (25-22, 25-14, 25-20) defeat of India at the Chiba Port Arena.
Qatar captain Ibrahim Ibrahim helped his team with 12 points, but India’s Charles Jerome Vinith led the all-scorers chart with 19 markers.
Qatar’s best performance in the competition’s history came via their fourth-place finish in the 2015 edition held in Tehran, Iran.
They will look to improve their previous record as the championship enters the next round on Thursday.
A total of 16 teams are participating in the eight-day tournament which ends on September 19.
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