Nepal rally to defeat Afghans, sweep series


Kathmandu, August 15

Nepal national volleyball team staged a great comeback from two sets down to beat Afghanistan 3-2 in the second and final game of the two-match friendly series here at the Nepali Army Sports Complex covered hall today.

With the win, Nepal clean swept the friendly series 2-0, ahead of the AVC Asian Senior Men’s Central Zone Volleyball Championship slated here for August 19-25. Nepal had defeated Afghanistan by the same margin yesterday.

Nepal made a disastrous start in the second match with poor performance in receiving, blocking and spike. Nepal visibly missed the services of skipper and setter Em Rana, who was not able to play in the match after he pulled his muscles in the first game.

Open spiker Dhana Bahadur Bhatta was also not in the team as he injured his toe in the first match.

Coach Han Abing started with Hari Hajur Thapa in place of Rana and included Kul Bahadur Thapa in the starting line-up but the experienced spiker failed to impress in front of the nets. That reflected in the match and Nepal fell 2-0 behind after the visitors took the first two sets 25-22 and 25-15 respectively.

Coach Abing made a bold move midway through the third set sending in open spiker Raj Kumar Niraula in place of Thapa and that worked for Nepal.

The two sides were going neck-to-neck after 13-all before the Nepali team showed its fighting character and took the set 26-24. Nepal then levelled the scores at 2-2 by winning the fourth set 26-24 taking the match to decider. In the fifth set, Nepal fell 8-7 behind but bounced back to make it 9-all.

Nepal took the lead from that points and restricted Afghans to just three points before completing the 15-12 victory.

A total of seven nations — Nepal, defending champions Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Maldives, Kyrgyzstan and Bangladesh — are taking part in the fifth edition of the tournament being held in Nepal for the first time. Nepal had won bronze in the same competition two years ago in Maldives after finishing third in the four-team tournament for their maiden international medal.

The post Nepal rally to defeat Afghans, sweep series appeared first on The Himalayan Times.

Written by Nishant Pokhrel
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