Pakistan go down fighting against Uzbeks in Asian Under-16 Volleyball semis

By our correspondent

TASHKENT: Pakistan’s colts went 3-1 down to Uzbekistan in the second semi-final of the 1st Asian Under-16 Volleyball Championship in Tashkent on Friday.

It was no doubt a terrific game and both sides showcased their great talent. Uzbekistan, who were backed by a cheering crowd, were given tough time by the Green-shirts who made a few mistakes especially in serves.

In the entire game it was not known who will win as they went neck in neck before the Uzbeks managed a narrow win to seal a victory which also helped them to qualify for the final and also earned next year’s World Under-17 Championship spot.

After winning the first set 25-23, Uzbekistan also were able to manage a 25-21 victory despite some hiccups in the middle in the second set which took their lead to 2-0. The Green-shirts, however, fought back bravely and sealed the third set 25-17 to reduce the deficit. In the fourth and decisive set a grueling fight was witnessed and until the end it was not known who will win. However the Uzbeks got two crucial points to seal 25-23 victory and so the game’s fate in their favour.

Pakistan still have a chance to qualify for the World Championship. If they beat Chinese Taipei in the third place game on Saturday (today) then they will not only get bronze but will also qualify for the World Championship.

Pakistan Volleyball Federation (PVF) chairman Chaudhry Mohammad Yaqoob said that his boys did well.

“Although we lost but our kids did a fine job,” Yaqoob told this correspondent. “InshaAllah tomorrow we will beat Chinese Taipei in the third place game which will also ensure our World Championship spot,” Yaqoob hoped.

Earlier in the first semi-final Iran came from two sets behind to defeat Chinese Taipei 3-2 (21-25, 14-25, 25-22, 25-17, 15-13) to qualify for the final and also earned a spot in the World Championship. It was Iran’s sixth successive win in the competition. The young Persians had previously defeated Japan, Saudi Arabia, China, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in the competition.

Iran are scheduled to face Uzbekistan in the final on Saturday (today).

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