Hong Kong, China, July 21, 2017 - A great all-round team effort from China helped them see off Japan 3-1 (25-19, 25-20, 33-35, 25-21) in their first match in Pool G of the FIVB World Grand Prix.
The first set started really close as both teams played with cautiousness and determination. China gradually managed to overpower Japan with spectacular hitting from Li Jing, Zhu Ting and Yuan Xinyue and won it 25-19.
China continued with their dominance in attack in the second set. Japan couldn’t cope with China’s deadly spikes, letting China enjoy a 7-point lead at 20-13. With their improved attacks, Japan were able to reduce the gap to two points but they soon lost momentum after back to back errors in serving and receiving. China proved too strong yet again and took a 2-0 lead courtesy of a 25-20 second-set win.
Japan came out more strong-minded in the third set, taking a 4-point advantage at both technical time-outs. The Chinese team regained composure after the second technical timeout and levelled the match at 19-19, credited to the powerful spikes from Zhu Ting. The game then turned into a see-saw situation. The Japanese did not give in and the tied rallies eventually ended with Japan winning at 35-33.
The fourth set started once again with neither team taking a lead of more than two points. Both of the teams showed undeniable determination under the continuous attacks of the other team. China slowly gained advantage with several successful spikes, taking a lead of 16-11 at the second technical time-out. They didn’t look back and finally ended the match at 25-21 in the fourth.