Kabaddi World Cup 2016: South Korea, Iran continue good run; Japan notch win

Iran continued their impressive run by winning 64-23 against Thailand in a rather one-sided match, while Japan recorded an easy 45-19 win over the United States in their opening Group B encounter at the ongoing 2016 Kabaddi World Cup at Ahmedabad on Sunday.

South Korea, who begin their campaign by upsetting favourites India in their opening game, also continued their good run defeating Argentina 68-42.

Japan, making their debut in the Kabaddi World Cup, looked like experienced campaigners as they made short work of a hapless US side.

Japan and USA team in action at the Kabaddi World Cup.

Japan and USA team in action at the Kabaddi World Cup. Image courtesy: Kabaddi World Cup

The US team, meanwhile, never looked like strong opponents at any point during the match. Their defence didn't have any strategy and it was evident that they didn't learn any lessons from the heavy defeat they had suffered at the hands of formidable Iran in their opening match of the Kabaddi World Cup.

It was the US defence that proved to be their Achilles' heel as they scored just a solitary point in the match.

Japan made a solid start to their World Cup campaign and were quick out of their blocks to open up a 5-0 lead after three minutes. The US raiders were struggling to come to terms with the agility of the Japanese defence and scored just two points in the first seven minutes.

Japan inflicted an all out on the US in the seventh minute to take an impressive 11-2 lead. Japan captain Masuyuki Shimokawa scored three raid points in the first 10 minutes as his team led 15-2.

The US defence let them down as they failed to score a single tackle point and suffered anther all out in the 12th minute.

Japan's attack and defence worked extremely well in tandem and led 22-2 after 13 minutes.

Ben Marcellus scored with a raid to give the US their third point in the 14th minute. Japan replied with a super raid through Kazuhiro Takano to lead 26-3 after 15 minutes. Japan were in excellent form in the first half as they dominated their opponents to lead 29-6 at the end of first half.

It was a similar story in the second half as Japanese raiders continued to score points with the US defenders struggling to put in tackles. Japan inflicted another all out in in the 29th minute to forge a 39-9 lead.

Takamitsu Kono and Tetsuro Abe marshalled the Japanese defence brilliantly and scored seven points between them. Yasushi Nakajo was one of the most impressive raiders for Japan as he came off the bench to score five points.

Iran continued their good form at the Kabaddi World Cup.

Iran continued their good form at the Kabaddi World Cup. Image courtesy: Kabaddi World Cup

Meanwhile, Iran produced a masterclass performance as they thrashed minnows Thailand in the eighth match of the tournament. The result was never in doubt, as Thailand had no answer to the superiority of their opponents.

Iran underlined their credentials as title contenders with a second consecutive victory. In the match, Iran inflicted six all outs on Thailand and look like the team to beat in the World Cup as they sit atop Group B with 10 points.

Thailand were trailing 0-2 after two minutes, but Santi Bunchoet came up with a brilliant raid to level the game at 2-2 after three minutes.

But Pro Kabaddi star Meraj Sheykh scored with a two-point raid in the fifth minute to give Iran a 6-2 lead. Thaliand forced a super tackle through Jantajam Peercdach as they trailed 4-6. Iran inflicted the first all out of the match in the eighth minute to lead 12-4.

Thailand's raiders found it difficult to cope with the physically strong Iranian defence in the first half. Iran led 16-6 after 11 minutes and Mohammed Ishmael made it 18-6 and reduced Thailand to just one man.

An all out was duly inflicted as Iran started to dominate the proceedings and led 21-6 after just 13 minutes. Fazel Athrachali and Soleiman Pahlevani scored five points each in the first half whereas Meraj Sheykh also contributed four raid points for Iran.

Thailand's inexperience was evident as the match wore on and Iran inflicted another all out in the 17th minute to lead 30-6. Such was Iran's dominance that Thailand scored a single point in the last nine minutes of the first half. Iran ended the first half with a formidable 27-point gap and led 34-7.

It was a one-sided affair in the second half as well as Iran continued to dominate and led 38-8 after 24 minutes. Iran inflicted the fourth all out of the match in 25th minute to lead 42-8.

Thailand were unable to match the agility of Iran's attack and defence as the mighty Iranians handed them a lesson in Kabaddi.

Things got worse for Thailand as they suffered sixth all out in th 35th minute and trailed 11-62. Thailand, however, redeemed some pride as they inflicted an all out in the 38th minute and trailed 21-64.

Meraj Sheykh was the most impressive raider for Iran and scored eight points whereas Soleiman Pahlevani also got eight points. The highest scorer for Iran, however, was Farhad Milaghardan who ended the match with 10 points.

In the South Korea vs Argentina match, the Koreans began by dominating the fist half. They lead the game 43-11 at the end of the half. Although, the Argentines came back strongly in the second half, it was not enough to beat the in-form Koreans who put their best efforts and emerged victorious in the end.

Even though Argentina lost their debut match, they won a lot of hearts with their gritty performance in the second half.

England play Australia, while, Thailand play Poland on Monday.

Updated Date: Oct 10, 2016 10:28 AM

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