Turkey defeats Thailand in four sets and is very close to clinch a spot for the semifinals
Great double block for Turkey against the hosts of Thailand
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, July 8, 2009. In front of an excited and massive audience the Thai girls were back to the court – after the quick defeat they had suffered yesterday against European champion Belgium – and there was very much curiosity for this game as rumors had been spreading that most of the local heroines were sick and had fever. Their opponent was an extremely solid team, Turkey, additionally coming out from an encouraging victory against Italy, the very first one in six matches played so far against the “Azzurre”. Thailand set the pace for most of the first set but in the decisive rallies Turkey stormed back strongly to get to the provisional 1-0. However, the local fans boosted their girls very well in the second section of the game with their traditional choirs, cheers and drums. The Thais led comfortably at both technical time-outs and the people got completely crazy as they leveled the set count to stay tuned – with some matches still to go – even for a possible spot among the best four at this World Championship (25-22). Turkish captain Kestirengoz performed splendidly in the opening of the third set for an incredible 9-0 break to restore the predominance of her team and really cool down the overwhelming enthusiasm of the local fans. The Thais were not yet keen to give up their ambitions for this match and backed by their solid reception and a few mighty blocks, the girls in red jerseys significantly narrowed the margin for an exciting final rush. Such rallies were definitely full of tension and the ambiance get really weird, with some disappointment at the end as the Turks notched the set at 26-24. The fourth set run quite smoothly for Turkey and that with 3-1 the “young Sultans” – waiting for the result of the match featuring Belgium and Italy - move one step closer to the semifinals.