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Australia and Japan to face-off in AVC Continental Cup final

Australia denied Indonesia to take the golden set in their clash on Saturday
Fuzhou, China, June 23, 2012 – Australia denied Indonesia in the golden set while Japan edged hosts China in the semifinals of the AVC Men’s Beach Volleyball Continental Cup Final at Min River Park in Fuzhou, China on Saturday.

Christopher McHugh and Joshua Slack started off well for Australia by taking the first match against Indonesians Dian Putra Santosa and Fahriansyah Fahriaynsyah 2-0 (21-11, 21-14). The tables were suddenly turned when Koko Prasetyo Darkuncoro and Ade Rachmawan rallied to beat Sam Boehm and Isaac Kapa in a tight match 2-1 (33-35, 21-19, 24-22).

Koko/Chandra had an adrenaline rush and took the match against McHugh/Slack 2-0 (21-14, 21-18). But the Australians were not ready to give up as Boehm/Kapa avenged the Australians’ previous match loss by thumping Dian/Fahri in straight sets (21-16, 21-16).

The true test for both teams came in the golden set. Indonesia led the Australians 12-9 – victory was near and a finals ticket was at stake – but Australia refused to give up and made a phenomenal comeback by serving four aces and scoring on two attacks to win 15-9.

Japan were headstrong in their win against the Chinese team to secure the remaining finals berth. Kentaro Asahi and Katsuhiro Shiratori lifted Japan past Chen Cheng and Lin Wuqin in their first match 2-0 (21-16, 21-15). The Chinese struggled on defence, which Asahi/Shiratori exploited.

Shinpei Aoki and Yujiro Hidaka matched the first team’s performance and powered their way to a straight sets triumph (22-20, 21-18) against the stronger Chinese pair Zhou Shun and Li Jian. Then Japan suddenly slipped and lost a 2-1 match (17-21, 21-19, 15-10) against Zhou/Li.

Aoki/Hidaka saved the day for Japan by disabling Chen/LIN Wuqin from any comebacks at 2-0 (23-21, 22-20).

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