India entered the quarterfinals of the men’s under-23 Asian Volleyball Championship in Mynamar despite going down 2-3 to Thailand.
The Indian team topped their group which helped it secure a berth in the final eight of the tournament. The Amit Gulia-led side had registered wins over China and New Zealand.
This will be India’s maiden appearance in the last eight of the tournament. China was the other team from the group to progress to the top eight.
In Monday’s match against Thailand, India won the first set with ease 25-15.
Thailand raised their game in the second set and won 25-23. The next set also followed a similar script with Thailand winning despite India running them close.
The fourth set was won by India to take the tie to the decider. The Indian team failed to deliver the knockout punch and eventually ended up conceding the final set 13-15.
However, by avoiding a defeat in straight sets, they sealed a spot in the final eight.
“They played brilliantly against China and New Zealand. China plays the fast game so we slowed things down against them. Meanwhile, we also adapted to New Zealand’s style of play which is similar to the European style,” India coach Pritam Singh Chauhan, said.
“However, Thailand’s game is very similar to ours and we could have possibly done slightly better in the blocking department. But it was a very close match and a much needed wake-up call for the boys before the knockouts,” he added.
India will now play two matches — against Kazakhstan and Japan — in the classification round to determine first to eighth places before their quarterfinal fixture.