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FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2006
Match Description
Serbia and Montenegro book semi-final place

Let's dance...Serbia and Montenegro celebrate victory

 Nagoya, Japan, November 12, 2006: Serbia and Montenegro booked a place in the semi-finals on Sunday -- but not after being given an almighty fright by Chinese Taipei.
 Serbia and Montenegro bounced back from their 3-2 defeat by Japan the previous evening to beat Chinese Taipei 25-22, 24-26, 19-25, 25-15, 15-13 to record a sixth win in Pool E and book one of two qualifying places.
 After clinching victory, the players formed a circle and danced in celebration on reaching the last four in their first World Championship appearance for 28 years.
 If Serbia and Montenegro thought the Asian team would use the wings to launch their attacks they were wrong. Instead they took them on down the middle, where middle blockers Lin Chun Yi and Chen Mei Ching have been two of their most consistent performers.
 Chen was quick to show her eye for an opening, and scored two attractive early points with a runaround spike on the right followed by a lightning smash on a loose ball at the net. Lin brought up the first TTO with another point at the net, 8-7 to Chinese Taipei.
 Serbia and Montenegro captain Vesna Citakovic led her team's reply, and as the set progressed the openings began to appear for the prolific Ivana Djerisilo and Jelena Nikolic.
 Trailing 14-11, Chinese Taipei head coach Lin Kuang Hung called his first TO, and a block by captain Chen Shu Li on Djerisilo closed the gap to one point at 14-13. Chinese Taipei pulled level at 18-18 with a flurry of points, including a Lin Chun Yi block on Nikolic, and this time it was SCG coach Zoran Terzic who needed a TO.
 Despite enjoying a significant advantage in height and power, SCG could not put away the busy Chinese Taipei team in the first set, and a right-wing spike from Kou Nai Han reduced the deficit again to one point at 23-22.
 That was as close as they would get, though, as a mistake on serve reception by captain Chen gave SCG the first set 25-22.
 In the second set, Anja Spasojevic began to find her range out on the left wing, and was a reliable outlet when the team needed points.
 But the Europeans looked sluggish against the quick and motivated Asians, calling a TO when trailing 10-7 and again at 13-8.
 Nikolic had to use all her court craft and guile to score points against the blocking of Lin Chun Yi, and a series of careless mistakes allowed Chinese Taipei to pull away to 16-11 at the second TTO.
 Natasa Krsmanovic sparked SCG's comeback with her terrific blocking, and they won six straight points to lead 17-16 with the aid of a Nikolic ace that dropped into a big space and a flashing right-wing winner from Djerisilo.
 A couple of attacking errors by Kou and Lin Chun Yi allowed SCG to pull back to 23-23, and Chinese Taipei saved a set point before a wild Nikolic spike gave them the second set 26-24 for 1-1.
 Chinese Taipei began the third set brightly, the highlight being a soaring back-court winner from the impressive Lin Ching I as they led 8-5 at the first TTO. By now, Brizitka Molnar was on for SCG, and she lifted the team with a clean hit down the centre.
 But there was still no rhythm in the SCG play, and coach Terzic took them off trailing 11-6 to try and boost their flagging spirits. Even when they put a passing move together, Chinese Taipei's defence was as committed as ever, led by the tenacious setter Wu Hsiao Li and agile libero Szu Hui Fang.
 Lin Ching I provided the momentum Chinese Taipei needed down the stretch, and despite some great defensive work from Maja Ognjenovic and right-wing spike from Jovana Brakocevic, the Asians closed it out 25-19 with a winner from the elusive Kou; 2-1 to Chinese Taipei.
 Sensing the danger, SCG sharpened up and jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the fourth set, forcing a Chinese Taipei TO, after Nikolic had spiked powerfully and Krsmanovic had blocked on successive points.
 Spasojevic was finding it hard going against the Chinese Taipei block and defence, as the Asians hurled themselves at the rockets fired over from the other side of the net. Djerisilo, on the right, and Krsmanovic at the net showed the way to go, and SCG had a four-point cushion, 16-12, at the second TTO.
 The rallies were getting longer and longer, and Chinese Taipei captain Chen finished off the best of the match with a mighty leap and sharp spike from the left, but it was not enough to stop SCG taking the fourth set 25-15 as the Asians made too many errors on attack.
 Lin Ching I gave Chinese Taipei the early initiative in the tie-break, and when a serve from southpaw Wu eluded the SCG defence and they fell behind 4-1, coach Terzic took them off quickly.
 Nikolic was drawing on all her experience to find a way through the quick and well-drilled Chinese Taipei defence, and SCG pulled back to 5-4. Djerisilo maintained the momentum with a spike and block, but Chinese Taipei still hung on 8-7 at the turnaround.
 The neutral fans were treated to some spectacular rallies as the teams traded points, but errors affected the Chinese Taipei play and SCG led 12-10 to prompt a TO by the Asians.
 Djerisilo brought up match point at 14-12, and Spasojevic finished it 15-13.