Updated: September 2, 2021 2:36:11 pm
India rallied splendidly to upset world No. 4 Egypt 25-16, 27-25, 26-28, 16-25, 12-15 in a 9 to 12 classification match of the FIVB World U19 Volleyball Championships at Azadi Stadium in Tehran on Wednesday night.
In a hotly contested match that lasted 112 minutes, India were 0-2 sets down and 23-24 in the third set and staring at defeat. However, led by setter and attacker Sameer Chaudhary, they came back strongly to clinch the third set at 26-28. From there, the Indians players wrapped up the next two sets in 38 minutes leaving their higher-ranked rivals in the dust.
India will next play against world No. 8 Czech Republic for a 9-10th place classification match.
Venu, the libero, played one of his best games against Egypt while Sameer and attackers Aman Kumar, Tanish Choudhary, Ajay Kumar and Harshit Giri also executed their roles to perfection.
Ajay 30 (27 from attack and three block points), Tanish 24 (23 + 1), Harshit Giri 21 (12 + 1 + 3 serve points) and captain Sameer Chaudhary (2 + 4+ 2) were best scorers for the winners while Mohamed Zyad Osama 21 (18 + 2 + 1), Khalifa Aly Wael 16 (16 attack points), captain Abdalla Hazem 16 (13 + 2 +1) and Ibrahim Ahmed 11 (7 + 3 + 1) scored for the losers.
India had 74 attack points to Egypt’s 61 while both the rivals had identical 13 points in the block but India edged Cuba by 6-5 points in serve.
Egypt finished third in their Group D behind Argentina and Germany and ahead of Cuba and the Dominican Republic who withdrew after their players were found Covid-19 positive.
India, who are ranked 49 in the world, posted their fourth victory in the tournament. In the Group ‘A’ matches, Indian started with an upset win over two-time African champions and world No. 9, Nigeria but lost to world No. 5 Iran and European bronze medallist and world No. 14, Poland.
In the round of 16, they lost to Brazil and in the classification match for a place between 9 and 16 they beat world No. 18 Cuba. India last played the worlds in 2009 and were runners-up in the 2003 edition in Thailand.
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