RIYADH: The Saudi Arabian national team has beaten Thailand 2-1 to reach the semifinals of the section that will determine positions nine to 12 at the 2021 Asian Men’s Volleyball Championship in Tokyo.
The Kingdom’s team overcame their opponents (25-20, 20-25, 25-19) at the Funabashi Gymnasium in the Japanese capital on Friday morning to top Pool H, one of two pools that split from the top eight teams fighting for the championship after the initial group stages.
The semifinal will be played on Saturday.
On Thursday, Saudi Arabia beat Hong Kong 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-19) and are now on a three-match winning run.
Previously, the Saudis had defeated Kazakhstan in straight sets (25-23, 25-21, 25-23) at Chiba Port Arena in the final Group D match, to leave them in third place in the table and heading into the round that will determine positions nine-16 in the tournament.
The Saudi players had lost in their other Group D matches to South Korea and Chinese Taipei. Finishing third meant that while the Saudi team was not among the final eight that could contest the championship, it still had a chance to finish highest in the final nine to 16. After their latest result, ninth place has edged closer while the lowest they can finish will be 12th.