Monday, 29/08/2022 18:40

Việt Nam face Thailand in AVC Cup third-place playoff

Captain Trần Thị Thanh Thúy’s outstanding performance at the AVC Cup is Việt Nam’s weapon in the bronze-medal match against Thailand on August 29. Photo of AVC

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam will vie for a bronze medal against Thailand on August 29 in the 2022 Asian Volleyball Confederation Cup in Pasig City, Philippines.

Despite their best performance at the tournament, Việt Nam lost 25-17, 25- 22, 34-36, and 25-10 to Japan in the semi-final match on Sunday evening at the PhioSports Arena.

Mizuki Tanaka was the best scorer for Japan, earning 21 points from 19 attacks, a block and a service winner.

Trần Thị Thanh Thúy grabbed a massive 29-point haul in the match, as Việt Nam loaded their offence on her. The captain relied upon her attacking power from the flanks and the backline.

Japan set up their usual system based on solid serves and ran their plays through their key hitters. Tanaka and Yuki Nishikawa fueled the Japanese offence and proved reliable along the passing lanes.

The Japanese also knew that they needed to stop Thúy, who is playing for Japan’s V.League side PFU BlueCat, at all costs.

They kept an eye on the Vietnamese captain hitter, closing the blocks on her, or getting the second line of defence to work harder. There seemed no way to stop her completely. But Japan knew they could limit her output or tire her.

Not until the third set, where it has nearly been mathematically assumed that Japan would take a 3-0 win and the finals berth. They had to deal, once again, with Thúy, who tirelessly rallied play after play, point after point, to extend the match.

The fourth set turned into Japan’s show, as they relied upon Nishikawa and took advantage of exhausted opponents.

“We lost the match today, but everyone played with great determination. Personally, I haven’t done my best yet as a leader of this team. I think I could have done better,” Thúy said.

Japan will play five-time winners China who are on course to defend their title after winning 19-25, 25-20, 25-14, 23-25, 15-10 against Thailand in the other semiVNS

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