FIVB Men's World Olympic Qualification Tournament 2012 | Japan

Press release

Japan battle past Korea in five-set thriller

Kota Yamamura for Japan celebrate with his team against Korea late Tuesday

Tokyo, Japan, June 5, 2012 -  Japan outlasted Korea in five sets (25-22, 24-26, 25-20, 19-25, 15-6) on the third day of action in the FIVB Men's World Olympic Qualifying Tournament at Tokyo Metropolitan Gym on Tuesday.

Japan raised its record to 2-1 with the win, while Korea fell to 0-3.

Tatsuya Fukuzawa paced Japan with a match-high 20 points. Kunihiro Shimizu chipped in with 13 points.

Park Chul-Woo was strong in defeat, leading Korea with 19 points. Kim Hak-Min added 14 points.

It was a back and forth battle for the regional rivals, with Japan finally prevailing when their attack stepped it up in the final set before a raucous home crowd.

Korea seemed to tire after taking the fourth set and Japan capitalized by taking a quick lead and never looking back.

Their was an ebb and flow to the match for both sides, as both exhibited strong attacks and blocks, but could not overpower the other.

Takahiro Yamamoto's spike gave Japan a 5-3 lead in the first set. Park Chul-Woo's spike leveled it at 6-6. Shin Yung-Suk served into the net and Japan led 8-7 at the first TTO. Korea went in front 9-8 on a block by Jeon Kwang-In. Yamamoto sailed a serve long and Korea was up 12-9. Japan equalized 13-13 on a spike by Yuta Yoneyama. A block by put Japan up 16-14 at the second TTO. A block by Lee Sun-Kyu tied it again at 19-19 and Korea moved ahead 20-19 on a spike by Jeon. Yamamura's spike made it 22-20 for Japan and Korea called a timeout. Lee sent a serve long and Japan was two points from the set at 23-21. Jeon served into the net at Japan had set point at 24-22. Kunihiro Shimizu blasted a spike off an option play to give Japan the set 25-22. Yamamura and Tatsuya Fukuzawa had five points each in the set, while Park had seven.

Yamamura's spike moved Japan out to a 5-3 lead in the second set. Kim Hak-Min fired a spike long and Japan was up 7-4. Fukuzawa's spike made it 8-6 for Japan at the first TTO. Korea went ahead 9-8 when Fukuzawa sent a spike long. Fukuzawa soared for a spike and it was 13-10 for Japan. A service ace by Choi Hong-Suk pulled Korea within a point at 13-12. Shimizu sent a spike wide and Korea edged ahead 15-14. Yoneyama's serve went long and Korea led 16-15 at the second TTO. Yamamura served into the net and Korea led 20-18. Korea led 23-21 after a reception error. Korea moved to set point at 24-22 on a spike by Lee. Yamamoto's spike knotted it at 24-24 as Japan held on to hope of taking the set. Korea went up 25-24 on a block and claimed the set 26-24 when Yusuke Ishijima sent a spike long.

Usami's block put Japan ahead 5-2 in the third set. Korea sent a spike long to give Japan a 7-3 lead. A return error made it 8-4 for Japan at the first TTO. Shin Yung-Suk sent a spike long and Japan was on top 10-6. Japan made the lead five points on a nice dink by Ishijima. Fukuzawa's spike took it to 15-10 for Japan and Shimizu hammered a spike to make it 16-10 at the second TTO. Korea scored six of the next eight points to pull within two at 18-16. Usami's quick dink gave Japan a three-point margin at 22-19. Park fired a spike wide and Japan had set point at 24-19. Kim sailed a spike long and Japan claimed the set 25-20.

A reception error by Japan gave Korea a 5-2 lead in the fourth set. Korea led 8-3 at the first TTO. Takaaki Tomimatsu served into the net and Korea was on top 11-7. A block by Park saw Korea go up 14-9. Korea led 16-12 at the second TTO. Yamamoto's spike made it 17-13 for Korea. Lee's spike took it to 19-14. Shin's block put Korea within three points of the set at 22-18. Korea was up 23-18 after a spike and Japan called a timeout. Usami served into the net and Korea had set point at 24-19. A dink by Park gave Korea the set 25-19.

Matsumoto's spike gave Japan a 3-0 lead in the fifth set and Korea took a timeout. Tomimatsu sent a serve long and Korea was down 4-1. Kim fired a spike wide and it was 6-1 for Japan. Yoneyama's spike put Japan up 8-2 at the changeover. Kim sent a serve long and it was 10-4 for Japan. Shimizu's block made it 11-4 and Korea called another timeout. Fukuzawa's spike made it 13-6. Matsumoto ended it 15-6 with a spike.

Japan play China on Wednesday, while Venezuela meet Korea.

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