HANGZHOU, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- China notched its second victory by beating Kazakhstan 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-20) in the men's volleyball preliminary round of the 19th Asian Games on Thursday.
The first set was closely contested until both teams were tied 15-15. Then came the turning point as Li Yongzhen's powerful serves propelled the home team into a four-point lead.
China kept seizing opportunities in serves throughout the second set. The third set was deadlocked until 12-12, when China started to call the shots.
"Kazakhstan is a strong opponent. They caused much trouble to us at first. We should not make any mistake in the upcoming matches. I hope we can do better," said China captain Jiang Chuan.
Jiang also hoped the team can get physically and technically prepared for the Olympic qualifications. "But currently focusing on the Asian Games is the most important," he added.
Elsewhere, Qatar triumphed 3-1 over Hong Kong of China in an earlier match. With a 25-21 flying start, Qatar dominated the second set by keeping double-digit advantage after 20-10 to conclude the set 25-13.
However, the third set was an intense affair as Qatar made more errors.
The Hong Kong team received a confidence boost when they had a judging mistake corrected with the help of the VAR system, which fueled them to pull one set back 25-22.
In the fourth set, Qatar piled up pressure on their opponents and eventually took it 25-21.
"We are very happy to win today, but we did not play at the level we expected. We will come back and do better to win the competition," said Qatar's player Raimi Wadidie.
"We are very, very satisfied with this performance, because my players are amateur players and we only train three to four times a week," said Hong Kong head coach Dragan Mihailovic.
Also on Thursday, Iran prevailed over Bahrain 3-1, South Korea crushed Cambodia 3-0, Indonesia thrashed Afghanistan 3-0, Japan swept the Phillipines 3-0, and Chinese Taipei outclassed Mongolia 3-0.