Source: News Bharati English10 Oct 2016 09:37:57

Ahmadabad, October 10: The night of Sunday was an astonishing for the Kabaddi World Cup when Japan witnessed a crucial win over USA in the first match, while Iran defeated Thailand in the second match. While Iran topped the Group B table with 2 wins, South Korea displaced India from the top position in Group A.
Japan vs USA

In the first match, dauntless Japan cruised past the United States of America 45-19. Japan may be making their debut at this tournament but seemed comfortable getting out of the blocks. After making the first move, they never looked back! With a speedy start, they took a 7-0 lead in the initial minutes. The Americans opened their account after seven minutes but were all-out later as their last man was tackled by Tetsuro Abe to give Japan a 11-2 lead. After a few minutes, Japan inflicted another all-out on USA.

Takano scored the only super raid of the match by taking out two American defenders and a bonus point. Shimokawa made five consecutive successful raids in the first half as USA looked helpless against the agility on show and fell victim with their naive advance tackles. The first half ended with a 29-6 scoreline in favour of Japan.

USA was looking to get a second lease of life after half-time but they threw in the towel in front of the superior Japanese defenders. Captain Bacon continued to emerge as the raiding star of USA as he collected five points in the match.

Japan ended USA’s misery with a dazzling display of speed and skill, helping them start off their World Cup endeavour on a high note. Despite being a young side, they showed good depth in the squad making them a potential contender for the semi-finals.

USA now has two losses in as many matches and will hope for the experience so far to count in their upcoming fixtures. Check out the complete stats from this match to know where the game was won or lost. Group B action gets interesting as both Japan and USA will face Poland next on October 12 and October 14 respectively.

Iran vs Thailand

Iran’s second match of the group stage was a visual delight for their supporters as they claimed an easy 64-23 victory over Thailand. It also was a record margin of victory in the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup so far.

For Iran, Fazel Atrachali and Soleiman Pahlevani scored High 5s for their brilliant performance at the defence. Pahlevani also notched up the most tackle points in a match so far in the competition. Meanwhile, only the Thai captain, Khomsan Thongkham, could come close to the challenge put up by Iran with eight points from the mat.

Thailand started off really well with Santi Bunchoet’s leap over the Iranian cover – a move that left the entire stadium including the Middle Easterners in awe. His athleticism helped Thailand level scores with their opponents. The moment was short-lived though, as Iran meant pure business decimating Thailand in the next five minutes and got them all-out.

Within 15 minutes, the young Thai side was all-out twice and the gap kept increasing. Score: 21-6. That was not all, as Atrachali grabbed a High 5 at a strike rate of 100%, Pahlevani followed suit while tearing apart Thailand’s attempt at any successive raid. 

The confident and indestructible Iran set an unassailable lead in Group B by registering an easy win. While Thailand was left clueless, what happened in 40 minutes was pure one-sided domination. If you missed what transpired in this clash, head to the MatchCentre to know more. 

Thailand will have to work harder as their next opponent on October 10, Poland, is no pushover, while Group B table-toppers Iran will lock horns with Kenya on October 11 in what promises to be a mouth-watering affair.