Czech. Republic beat Japan 3-1 (25-23, 21-25, 25-21, 25-23) - duration 1:38
03-Sep, start time: 13:05, end time: 14:43 - Attendance: 4,250 Japan spoils chance to reach next round
Japan missed the perfect opportunity to clinch a place in the second round of the Women's World Championship. The Czech Republic won their last first round match defeating Japan 3-1 cheered on by more than 4,000 spectators at Halle Muensterland. The surprising Czech victory kept Germany's chances open to still reach the second round. Japan has to hope that Mexico will defeat Germany, but is the home squads wins the last Pool A match on Tuesday, the Germans reach the next round, while Japan can take the plane back to Tokyo. Both teams started the first set highly motivated and well-balanced (12-12). Cheered on by the enthusiastic crowds the Czechs finally achieved a 16-13 advantage and had their first set point at 24-20, but needed three more chances to finally win the set 25-23. The second set was again well balanced for a long time (15-15), but then the Japanese got the upper hand and managed a four-point lead (19-15). The Japanese block functioned so that the Czech attackers didn't have a chance. Japan won the set 25-21. The Czechs came back into the match and caused the Japanese some problems with their dangerous serves. Japan had a weak streak and was down 16-11. But then the Japanese game once again became faster and more powerful. At 21-20 for Czech Republic the match had again turned thrilling. Under the frenetic applause from the crowds the Czechs used their second set point to win 25-21. Despite of being down several times, the Czech team fought back cheered on by 4,250 enthusiastic spectators. The match remained dramatic. Each Czech point was cheered on. At 23-22 for the Czechs none of the spectators were still sitting. The Czechs needed their second set point to win the set 25-23 and the match. Czech Helena Horka was the best scorer with 19 points. Although her team won the match, the Czech formation is eliminated. Miyuki Takahashi was the leading Japanese player with 17 points.