2016 Kabaddi World Cup :: 7 electrifying matches that set the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup alight - Features

7 electrifying matches that set the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup alight

23 October 2016

The 2016 Kabaddi World Cup has served up some fantastic entertainment throughout its 16-day span. We reflect and bring to you the 7 matches that best epitomised the true essence of the sport and would make for an exciting watch – all over again!  

October 7, 2016: India vs Republic of Korea 

The opening match of the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup sent shockwaves as the Koreans upset the Indian ‘Dream Team’ by a narrow 34-32 margin. Trailing 21-27 with four minutes to go, the Korean side found their hero in star raider Jang Kun Lee who became successful with five of his final six raids. This included a super raid in which Lee got three Indians out to turn the match in their favour.

October 8, 2016: Poland vs Kenya

It was the first game for both sides and there was no holding back. Kenya and Poland were involved in a breathless game that left the viewers wanting more. The thrill-a-minute match was 27-27 at half time and eventually ended 54-48 to the Africans. Both teams went all out on the offensive and it was the Kenyans that improved their defence to close out the win. David Mosambayi was the hero for Kenya as his 21-point performance made the difference in the end. 

October 13, 2016: Bangladesh vs Republic of Korea 

An experienced Bangladesh had expressed before the tournament that Republic of Korea will be their biggest hurdle in reaching the last four. It turned out to be prophetic as the pumped-up Koreans repeated their opening match performance to pull off an incredible 35-32 win. And like that game too, it was Jang Kun Lee who once again came up with a game-turning super raid. It was a cruel twist of fate for Bangladesh as they squandered initially a 10-0 lead and then a 28-21 lead.  

October 16, 2016: Japan vs Kenya 

Kenya was arguably the most impressive team among the newcomers as they took on experienced Japan. Kenya’s power was an advantage for them but the speed and guile of the Japanese made sure they were never too far away from them. Kenyan defender James Odhiambo Obilo turned into a tackling machine as he notched up a tournament high 13 tackle points with an astonishing 4 super tackles. Obilo inspired his teammates to take their level higher in running out winners with a splendid 48-27 scoreline.

October 19, 2016: Thailand vs Japan 

The last league match of the tournament had so much riding on it with both these teams and Kenya in contention for a place in the semi-final. Thailand went into the game needing only a point to progress to the last four. They remained within touching distance of a fired-up Japan who needed a big win to qualify. Instead of trying to get just that point by not going down to Japan by more than 7 points and avoid India, they went for the win downing Japan 37-33 in a tense, tactical battle. Thai captain Khomsan Thongkham’s raids were superb as he was calm and led his young team to a brilliant win.

October 21, 2016: Republic of Korea vs Iran

The first semi-final of the tournament saw Iran take on Republic of Korea for a place in the final. The Koreans began superbly as they stormed to a 12-6 lead in the first half to leave their opponents scratching for ideas. Iran clawed back into the game and cut the lead to just two points at the break. The second saw Iran’s class taking over as they kept faith in their abilities to chalk out a 28-22 victory.

October 22, 2016: India vs Iran

The last match of the tournament was undoubtedly its best. It was a tactical battle between two of the strongest teams in the competition. Iran started better of the two as their much-vaunted defence stifled the Indian raiders. Meraj Sheykh was fantastic while raiding for Iran as they led 18-13 at the interval. India came out fighting in the second half as Ajay Thakur got some sensational raids in as Iran crumbled. India took the lead at 21-20 and closed out the match 38-29 to lift the trophy.