Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cambodia defeat world champions

The Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh, scene of Cambodia' s win over the world champions Canada
The Cambodia team listen proudly to the Cambodian National Anthem before the game
Wow, what an incredible afternoon. Cambodia faced the World Champions Canada in the final WOVD Standing Volleyball World Cup round-robin match looking for a victory to give themselves the best possible chance of getting a medal at the championships. With wins over India and Poland and defeats against Slovakia and Germany, Cambodia faced the toughest possible opponents in Canada, the #1 ranked team in the world....and won!
In the first set, spurred on by a noisy crowd who made good use of wooden sticks on the plastic seats to generate a high volume throughout the game, Cambodia took the lead and never gave the opposition a glimmer of a chance, winning 25-16. However, Canada sensed it might be their day when they raced to a 25-17 win in the second set, led by their man-mountain centre Stewart, who at 6ft 7ins dwarfed every other player on the court.
Not to be outshone on this special occasion, Cambodia had their own star player, Mean Veasna in top form and his volleys helped them to a 25-17 third set victory and the crowd suddenly had thoughts of the impossible, a Cambodia win. In the thrilling 4th and final set, Cambodia took the lead and never relinquished it, closing out the game 25-19 for a memorable 3 sets to 1 win over the tournament favourites. The players went beserk and carried their coach Christian Zepp aloft while captain Chhum Chhandy ran around the court waving the Cambodia flag with sheer delight. You could see how much it meant to each of the players, they were ecstatic, as were the crowd. It gave me goosebumps. And I'm proud to say, I was there!
The Cambodian team line-up before the victory over Canada
Not everybody was as ecstatic as me! How she slept through the noise I will never know
Cambodia meet India in a quarter-final clash Thursday, whom they beat earlier in the week, and will face Slovakia if they progress, in the semi-final on Friday. The final will be held on Saturday.

1 comment:

Andy said...

This is how the Volleyball Canada website saw the result:

Host Cambodia Stun Canucks at 2007 Standing Volleyball World Cup.
Nov. 28-07
The Canadian Men’s Standing Volleyball Team knew that the game today was not going to be easy. Cambodia had been training very hard for this event, and it paid off for them with a 4-set victory of the Canadian’s 16-25, 25-17, 17-25, 19-25 at the 2007 Standing Volleyball World Cup in Phnom Penh.

"I thought that tonight we did a good job of starting off the match with good intensity and we followed our game plan," commented Head Coach Kerry MacDonald.
"However after winning the second set we didn’t respond well to the pressure that Cambodia applied and we failed to stick to the game plan from that point forward. Now we need to look towards tomorrow’s tough match against Poland."

The Canadian’s gave up early leads in the three sets they lost, and were unable to regain the momentum needed to mount a comeback. Some positive news out of the Canadian team is that both Mikael Bartholdy and Larry Matthews who have been sidelined with injuries played roles in today’s game and will be able to play in tomorrow’s very important match against Poland. The Canadian team defeated Poland in their opening match of round robin play, and will need to repeat that effort if they are to advance to the Semi-Finals.

Canadian captain Chris Rodway led his team with 21 points on 18 kills, 1 block and 2 digs while Greg Stewart added 16 points on 15 kills and 1 block. Austin Hinchey contributed 8 points on 4 kills, 1 block a dig and 2 service aces.