The South Korean men’s national volleyball team failed to reach the final of the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Challenge Cup after being stopped by a Bahraini wall.
The team’s dreams of winning the AVC Challenge Cup to qualify for the FIVB Challenger Cup and winning the FIVB Challenger Cup to qualify for the 2024 Volleyball Nations League (VNL) were dashed.
Korea, ranked 29th in the world and led by head coach Lim Do-heon, fell to Bahrain, ranked 77th, 0-3 (33-35, 23-25, 20-25) in the semifinals of the AVC Challenge Cup on Thursday at Taipei University Gymnasium in Taipei, Taiwan.
Korea took the lead in each set, but it was Bahrain who had the last laugh at the end of each set.
Korea trailed 7-10 in the first set before scoring seven straight points to take a 14-10 lead, led by the strong serve of Hwang Taek-ui (Armed Forces Athletic Corps).
However, their wing and center attacks were blocked and they conceded a 24-24 deuce.
After exchanging points with Bahrain, Korea lost the first set at 33-33 when Hwang Taek-ui made a service error and Jeong Ji-seok (Korean Air) also made an attack error.
In the second set, Korea took a 12-8 lead, but then committed too many errors to tie the score at 22-22.
Bahrain took a 24-22 lead after an open attack by Abdullah Mohammed (No. 17) and an open attack by Anan Nasser at the end of the rally.
Korea recovered a point with an open attack by Heo Soo-bong (Hyundai Capital), but at 23-24, Heo dropped his serve and the match went to deuce.
In the third set, 먹튀검증 Korea also fell apart in the deciding game.
At 18-18, Heo Su-bong’s follow-through attack was blocked by his opponent, and he allowed another Abdullah Mohammed (No. 9) to make a fast break to bring the score to 18-20.
At 20-22, Heo Su-bong’s open attack was again blocked by the Bahraini blocking wall.
Backed into a corner by a service ace from Abdullah Mohammed (No. 17), Korea lost the third set 20-25 as Hwang Kyung-min (KB Insurance)’s open attack was blocked.
Korea lost to Bahrain in the third and fourth place matches of the AVC Cup last June and also in the AVC Challenge Cup this year without taking a set.
Even in the Asian tournament, where Japan (No. 6), Iran (No. 10), and China (No. 25), who already play in the VNL, were absent, Korea failed to reach the final.
South Korea will play Vietnam (56th) for third and fourth place on Friday.
Thailand (64th), led by Park Ki-won, advanced to the final and will play Bahrain for the title.