FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Korea pull upset on rivals Japan in four sets

Korean players celebrate as they pulled off an upset against rivals Japan in four sets

Hwasung, Korea, June 1, 2013 – Korea pulled off a big upset on their biggest Asian rivals, Japan, in four sets (25-22, 25-20, 21-25, 25-19) in Pool C of the FIVB World League Intercontinental Round at the Hwasung Indoor Gym on Saturday.

Many expected that the match-up between the two Asian rivals would be tight, just like their encounters in the past, but the Koreans recorded a strong finish against Japan and foiled Gary Sato’s debut as Japan’s head coach.

Korea led all throughout the first set from a balanced attack tactic from their players.

Korea still managed to outplay the Japanese in the second set and did not allow the Japanese to make any run. Japan seemed to have trouble with their teamwork and committed critical errors which the Koreans took advantage of.

Japan adjusted on their attack and utilized Tatsuya Fukuzawa to lead the Japanese surge, even taking their first lead in the match and posting a comfortable lead midway through the third set. Korea tried to get back from this setback on Park Chul-Woo and Moon Sung-Min’s strong plays.

Korea was then forced to play wounded as Moon suffered a knee injury and was replaced by Jeon Kwang-In. Japan capitalised on the absence of Moon and coped with Korea’s offensive barrage to take the third set 21-25.

Moon’s replacement, Jeon, stepped up to the challenge and sent out a series of blasting spikes that destroyed Japan’s block in the fourth set. Jeon got help from Park Sang-Ha and Shin Yung-Suk who excellently showed its prowess on the defensive end. Park and Shin teamed up with setter Han Sun-Soo who orchestrated Korea’s unstoppable quick plays, which finally sealed the Korean team victory at 25-19.

Read the press conference highlights here.

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