Astana, Kazakhstan, 6 July 2023 – Kazakhstan celebrated an astounding victory on Thursday afternoon to book a finals appearance in men’s competition of the 2023 WPV Sitting Volleyball Asian Zone Championships. The hosts emerged with a with a thrilling tie-break win, 3-2 (21-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-21, 15-12) against China at the Jekpe-Jek Sports Centre.
Teams collided in a tough battle to set the tone of the match. Each squad displayed nearly equals strengths in attack, as the hosts managed to keep within close distance. Patience paid off for the Kazakh side, tying the first set at 19-19. Later, China delivered with key plays and pulled through with a 25-21 win in the opener.
Side-outs continued to unfold with neither team pulling away in a remarkable manner. Kazakhstan served away with three crucial aces to help them seize 25-21 in the second set.
China charged through the third set with steady play, keeping their hits pronounced and precise. The home team fought for a scoring run, to keep closest within four points, but were unable to completely recover from a string of miscues. China sealed off the third set at 25-19 with a service winner.
The narrative of the chase carried through as every point for every play bore much value. The Kazakh team eased into a 15-12 lead, sending their contenders to call for time. Court 2 at the Jekpe-Jek resounded with drumbeats and cheers as the host team manged to protect their claim to a 25-21 win for the tie-break.
The Kazakhs looked primed and poised in the decider, sending a strong statement with an 8-5 lead on court change. As their opponents were unable to seize the crucial plays, Kazakhstan gifted the crowd with a finals appearance at home.