Chiba (Japan), Sep 17 (MNN) Indian men’s volleyball team defeated Uzbekistan 3-0 (25-19, 25-13, 25-22) to register their second straight win in the Asian volleyball championship 2021 at the Funabashi Arena here on Friday.
India are now assured to finish between the ninth and 12th positions at the biennial event.
The Indian volleyball team had earlier lost to Bahrain, Japan and Qatar to end on the bottom of Group A. While Japan and Qatar – the top two from the group – advanced to the last eight, India played in the classification round for the best-possible finish within the ninth to 16th positions.
Grouped with Bahrain, Kuwait and Uzbekistan in Group G of the classification round, India recorded two wins to finish second in the pool. India will next play Saudi Arabia in the ninth to 12th place semi-finals on Saturday.
Riding on the momentum from the win against Kuwait, India dominated the proceedings against Uzbekistan to win in straight sets.
India’s Vinit Kumar, with 15 points, was the joint-highest scorer of the match, and found support from Rai Ashwal, who scored 13 points.
For Uzbekistan, Sobirov Akhrorjon topped the charts with 15 points but none of his team-mates could score in double digits.
Following the win, India moved up to 79 from 82 in the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) men’s rankings.
India’s best finish at the Asian volleyball championship came in 2005 when they ended in fourth place. In the last edition in 2019, they finished eighth.