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FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2006
Match Description
Chinese Taipei go 3 for 3

Wu (TPE) sets for Lin Chun Yi

 Tokyo, November 3, 2006: Chinese Taipei have done it again!
 The world No. 23 won their third consecutive match in Pool A, holding off world No. 8 Korea in a five-set Asian epic which enthralled the neutral crowd at Yoyogi National Stadium.
 Taipei won the marathon 26-24, 16-25, 29-27, 24-26, 15-10 on their second match point of the tie-breaker, and fourth match point in all. Korea dropped to 1-2.
 The Koreans' tactics were clear from the start. Not wanting to be drawn into long rallies against the smaller and more agile Chinese Taipei players, Korea tried to batter their way through with their heavy hitters.
 Kim Yeon-Koung, Kim Se-Young, Han Song-Yi and Jung Dae-Young took it in turns to pummel the Chinese Taipei block, only for the Koreans to then let themselves down with poor serving.
 The match was shaping up to be a classic Asian struggle, highlighting the mobility, lightning reflexes and high-speed combinations of both teams. Off the court the players are good friends, and on the court they know each other well, too, reading their rivals' moves like a book.
 Chinese Taipei responded with some excellent blocking from Lin Chun Yi and Chen Mei Ching, supported by perfect defensive positioning, and captain Chen Shu Li led the attack with her customary zest as she played around the Korean block.
 Few teams have an answer to Korea's outside spiker Hwang Youn-Joo, whose sharp, left-handed spikes from the right whistled across the Taipei blockers and scattered the defence.
 Lin Ching I was the dominant figure down the stretch. After saving one set point with a razor-sharp winner down the left, Lin then produced the crucial block to give her team the first set 26-24 on their first set point.
 There was no let-up in the tempo in the second set as the scoreboard whizzed along. At 7-7, Han Song-Yi on Korea's left flank brought up the first TTO with a crisp spike which the Taipei defence could only parry into the stands.
 When middle blocker Jung scored with another swift attack, the Koreans looked to be getting on top, and extended their lead to 12-8 to force a Taipei TO. Kim Yeon-Koung, who came into this match with 37 points already on the board from the first two outings, beat the block again to give Korea a comfortable seven-point cushion, 16-9, at the second TTO.
 As the set progressed and the pressure increased, Taipei's slick attacking machine began to falter and the Koreans pulled away. Kim Se-Young plundered another point at the net, and Hwang produced a perfect block to reject Taipei captain Chen, who was removed shortly after.
 Korea called a TO despite leading 21-14, but Han Song-Yi and captain and setter Kim Sa-Nee put their team back on course. At 24-16, Han Song-Yi finished the second set with a crashing winner from the left, 1-1.
 The pace dropped in the third set and both teams made uncharacteristic errors.
 With the blocking remaining at a consistently high level, though, the teams had to work hard to find openings and vary their lines of attack.
 The score stayed neck and neck throughout the third frame, and resulted in a grandstand finish before Taipei took it 29-27 on their third set point with a second straight block on Han Song-Yi. Korea had also missed two set points, the second one when southpaw Hwang served long.
 In the fourth set, the 1.90-metre Kim Se-Young gave Korea a solid start with some good work at the net and they led 8-6 at the first TTO -- but not before ace Kim Yeon-Koung had taken another hard spike in the face for the second consecutive match.
 A terrific overhead set by Kim Sa-Nee enabled Hwang to crash home another angled winner, and Taipei needed a breather trailing 12-8.
 The Koreans' alert ground defence, led by libero Kim Hae-Ran, denied the swift-moving Taipei spikers time and again, and Korea looked to be in control 16-11 at the second TTO.
 But the crowd urged Taipei on, and they pulled back to 16-16 with some stylish winners from Kou and Chen Mei Ching, the latter after a wonderful rally.
 A Taipei block on Han Yoo-Mi brought up match point at 24-22, but Korea saved them both with winners from Kim Se-Young and Han Song-Yi. At 24-24, Kim Yeon-Koung swooped majestically down the middle to give Korea set point, and Han Song-Yi out on Korea's left settled it 26-24 with a powerful drive into space, 2-2.
 Taipei shrugged off the disappointment to lead 5-2 in the tie-break when a serve from Chen Mei Ching surprised the Korea back court by dropping inside the line.
 A Lin Chun Yi block on Han Song-Yi took Taipei to the turnaround ahead 8-5, and they closed it out 15-10 when Lin Ching I scored on their fourth match point.