2016 Kabaddi World Cup :: Thailand edge past Japan in dramatic thriller, qualify for semis - News

Thailand edge past Japan in dramatic thriller, qualify for semis

19 October 2016

On Wednesday night, Thailand qualified for the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup semi-finals by defeating Japan in a historic first. The close encounter that had everyone on the edge of their seats went in favour of a bold Thai side, whose performance throughout the entire tournament has been a delightful surprise. Despite a tragic opener against Iran, they took everything in their stride and bounced back strongly. An inspiring story for sure! 

When Kenya moved up the standings, Thailand’s chances dropped significantly. Their last game was now a resilient Japan – an opponent pretty much in the game with equal chance for one last blow.

Cometh the moment, both teams stepped onto the mat with just one thing in mind: a semi-final berth. From raid to raid and tackle to tackle, the two sides were in a deadlock, neither throwing a challenge nor overpowering their opponents – a perfect fixture with players of similar talent and temperament. Despite Japan’s successful first all-out imposed on Thailand, they chose to remain consistent and kept bringing points home. Thailand’s 18 raid points to Japan’s 12, 11 tackle points to Japan’s 17, and 6 extra points to their 2 were enough to suggest that Thai captain Khomsan Thongkham and Co. knew how precious each point was. 

Thongkham bagged his third Super 10 tonight and like a true leader, drove his team to a sweet victory. Japan’s Masayuki Shimokawa and his men were near perfect too but took the heat and shut down before the final whistle. At one point, towards the third quarter of the game, the Japanese were slowly racing away and had an agreeable lead which they threw away in the closing moments. 

For the full play-by-play description of this game, check out our MatchCentre.

With this thrilling match, the group stage has come to an end. Republic of Korea will take on Iran in the first semi-final on October 21, followed by Thailand meeting favourites India in the second. All the action will be brought to you from The Arena, Ahmedabad only on the Star network and hotstar.