Japan beat Bulgaria 3-1 (16-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-22) - duration 1:31
02-Sep, start time: 13:00, end time: 14:31 - Attendance: 1,311 Japan opens up Pool A again after defeating Bulgaria
Japan opened preliminary Pool A again after winning against co-leader Bulgaria here in Muenster on Monday. The Bulgarians could clinch a second round spot but played the worst match in this event so far, while the amazing Asians were fantastic. The Bulgarians put the pressure on Japan right from the start of the first set and quickly let the Japanese defense sweating. Bulgaria quickly took the lead with 9-3. Japan fought back desperately but didn't have a chance against the eastern Europeans. Bulgaria won the first set 25-16. Bulgaria seemed less concentrated in the second set and was therefore far less superior. The Japanese adjusted well to the Bulgarian attacks and exploited every chance to make a point (13-9). Bulgaria had lost their rhythm completely and Japan extended their advantage to 24-18. Japan finally won the second set 25-22. Both teams showed great defensive performances and a varied play in the third set. None of the teams managed to achieve a real lead. But then Japan put the pressure on the opponents with their serves and gained an 18-12 advantage. Even a short chase by the Bulgarians to 19-17 did not prevent them to lose their second set at this World Championship. Japan decided the set 25-20 in their favour. The fourth set was again balanced (8-8) and remained this way for quite some time (17-17). But then the Japanese proved to have the better nerves extending their lead to 22-19. Although Bulgaria remained close (23-21), Japan kept the upper hand and won the set with 25-22 and claimed their second victory. With the Japanese win, Pool A is completely open again. Japan is back in business and fights with Bulgaria, Italy anf Germany for the three second round spots. Chikako Kumamae played a terrific match scoring 25 points. Miyuki Takahashi made 19 points, while on the Bulgarian side Slavka Ouzounova-Dimitrova was the best player with 15 points.