South Korea’s men’s volleyball team suffered a heartbreaking loss to India in their first match of the Hangzhou Asian Games.
It has been 11 years since Korea lost to India in an international tournament with professional players, since the third Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Cup in Vietnam in 2012.
The South Korean team (ranked 27th in the world), coached by Lim Do-heon, lost to India (ranked 73rd) by a set score of 2-3 (27-25 27-29 22-25 25-20 15-17) in the first men’s Group C match of the 19th Hangzhou Asian Games at the Linping Sports Center in Hangzhou, China on Tuesday.
The Korean men’s volleyball team was aiming for its first gold medal in 17 years after the 2006 Doha Games, but suffered a shocking defeat even before the Hangzhou Asian Games officially opened on Aug. 23.
It’s a performance that could be remembered as a ‘disaster’ if they don’t recover from this tournament.
South Korea, who lost the 2012 AVC Cup semifinals 2-3 in straight sets, fell to India for the second time in 11 years in another full-set match.
Men’s volleyball at the Asian Games features 19 teams in six groups, with the first and second place finishers in each group advancing to the round of 12.
With only three teams in Group C, South Korea can advance to the round of 12 as group runner-up with a win against Cambodia on Nov. 21 to keep its medal hopes alive.
However, their pride has been severely dented. The team also learned the harsh reality that victory is not guaranteed in the Asian Games group stage.
Trailing 12-14 in the fifth set, Korea took the match to deuce with an open attack by Jeon Kwang-in (Hyundai Capital) and a direct kill by Na Kyung-bok (Ministry of Defense) following a serve by Jeon Kwang-in.
After a rally, Na Kyung-bok’s open attack made it 15-14.
However, Manjunatha Lakshmipuram’s kill tied the score at 15-15, and the Indian defense blocked back-to-back attacks by Na Kyung-bok and Heo Soo-bong (Hyundai Capital) to end the match.
It was a moment that sealed India’s first-place finish in Group C, which was thought to be Korea’s to lose before the tournament. India had defeated Cambodia 3-0 the day before.
The only bright spot for the Korean men’s team was the beginning of the first set.
Korea scored on a Kim Jun-woo (Samsung Fire) kill at the start of the first set, followed by an open attack from Heo Soo-bong and a service ace from Na Kyung-bok to take a 3-0 lead.
The Koreans managed to take a 10-6 lead, 바카라사이트 but India rallied behind 6-foot-2 middle blocker Aswal Rai and wing attacker Amit to turn the game around.
Trailing 20-22, South Korea tied the game with open attacks from Jeon Kwang-in and Na Kyung-bok, and at 22-22, Jeon’s service ace put them back in front.
After a deuce, the Koreans took the lead at 25-25 with back-to-back attacks targeting the fingertips of their opponent’s blocker and held on for the first set after an Indian attack error.
The second set also went to deuce.
At 27-27, the Koreans had an open attack from Kumar Vinit.
At 27-28, Lim Dong-hyuk’s (Korean Air) open attack was blocked by Rai’s high wall.
In the third set, South Korea was drawn in by India from the start.
At 15-22, sharp serves shook the Indian receiving line, and wing attacks by Heo Soo-bong and Jeon Kwang-in brought them to 22-24, but Jeon’s serve was caught in the net and the third set ended in vain.
Pushed to the brink, Korea pushed the match to a fifth set with Jeon Kwang-in, Heo Soo-bong, and Na Kyung-bok forming a “triangle formation” and middle blocker Kim Min-jae (Korean Air) providing strength in the center.
However, they were unable to get over the final hurdle in the fifth set and suffered a shocking defeat.
It was also a bad day for Korea as outside hitter Jung Ji-seok (Korean Air) was not able to play due to illness.
On the day, Korea was out-blocked by India 6-12. It was India’s blocking that made the difference in the game.
Korea’s wing attack of Na Kyung-bok (31 points), Jeon Kwang-in, and Heo Soo-bong (22 points) worked well, but they couldn’t find a way in the center. 슬롯사이트