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Press release

We kept focus and took the initiative, says Canada coach Hoag

Canada battled out a victory, said captain Frederic Winters

Osaka, Japan, July 7, 2013 – Canada coach Glenn Hoag has praised his players for keeping their focus in the 3-2 defeat of Japan (25-23, 23-25, 25-27, 25-18, 15-7) in Osaka on Sunday.

The victory clinched a spot in the World League finals in Mar del Plata, Argentina, later this month for the Canadians.

"It was a much better performance by Japan today," said Hoag. "We did not serve so well, and Japan received very well. In the fourth set it seemed like their level dropped and we were able to go on and win the match.

"I told the players to stay focused in the fourth set and keep doing what they had been doing. We remained patient and kept our poise."

Canada captain Frederic Winters added: "Many of our players said it was one of our toughest matches in a long time. They played really good defense today. They didn't play like that yesterday."

"We are not as technically skilled as some European teams, but we battled through today. We have won six matches in a row and are going to Argentina. It feels great."

Japan coach Gary Sato said: "It was a hard-fought match. We made adjustments offensively and defensively after watching the film from yesterday's match. We formulated a plan on how to utilise our attackers. Our hitters were successfuly with these tactics at times."

Japan captain Kota Yamamura said: "It's too bad we could not win today. We put up a better challenge than yesterday. We need to improve our serve and ability to deal with blocks.

Japan player Yu Koshikawa said: "I'm happy we played better than yesterday. Our next challenge is to take more chances."

Japan player Tatsuya Fukuzawa added: "We tend to become negative about our play after a bad point. Coach Sato is always encouraging us to think positively and focus on the next play."

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