HANGZHOU: Pakistan secured an impressive victory against Chinese Taipei in the second and final pool match of the Asian Games at the Linping Sports Centre Gymnasium in Hangzhou, China on Wednesday.
Pakistan won the match with set scores of 25-18, 25-20, and 25-19.
In their previous pool match, Pakistan had triumphed 3-0 against Mongolia.
The Chinese Taipei team, which held the second position in the 2018 Asian Games, faced a formidable challenge from Pakistan.
The Pakistan team, previously ranked eighth in the Asian Games, have shown tremendous improvement and determination in their recent outings.
Meanwhile, Pakistan volleyball team’s manager Naseer Ahmed sounded optimistic and hoped that his players’ skills and unwavering determination would lead them to greater successes in the upcoming matches of the Asian Games.
JAPAN LAUNCH BID FOR FOOTBALL GOLD
Meanwhile, Japan began their bid for a first Asian Games men’s football gold since 2010 with a 3-1 win over Qatar, as Syria and Afghanistan pulled out.
Japan were cruising 2-0 at half-time after goals by Teppei Yachida and Kotaro Uchino, before Qatar hit back in the 79th minute through substitute Abdulla Al Sulaiti.
But just as the Qataris threatened to grab a point in the group-round match, defender Taichi Yamasaki popped up to make the game safe for Japan in the closing minutes.
The Games in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou do not officially open until Saturday, but several sports are already under way.
On Tuesday, the first day of action, South Korea launched their quest for a third men’s football gold in a row with a 9-0 demolition of Kuwait.
The men’s football competition has been hit by withdrawals, however, with Afghanistan and Syria pulling out on Wednesday from Group ‘C’.
That means group opponents Hong Kong and Uzbekistan are into the last-16 without kicking a ball.
India were thrashed 5-1 by China in football on Tuesday but coach Igor Stimac said he was just pleased to be able to field a team.
“I’m happy because I see that some teams pulled out at the last minute [because] they couldn’t get enough players,” said the former international defender for Croatia.
“It’s a big problem for the whole tournament now.”
The Asian Games are outside FIFA’s international window so clubs are not compelled to release players.
Asian Games football teams are made up of under-23 squads but they can have three overage players.
Football, beach volleyball, cricket, modern pentathlon, rowing, sailing and volleyball will all take place at the Games on Thursday.
Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2023